Reserva Ecologica de Guapiaçu (REGUA) has recently celebrated the planting of its 400,000th tree as part of its reforestation programme. This tree planting is supported by World Land Trust’s (WLT) Plant a Tree appeal, which raises funds to plant native trees for £5 each.
The 400,000th tree, pictured with REGUA co-Director Raquel Locke, was Angelim de morcego (Andira anthelmia), which is one of Raquel’s favourite trees. As well as boasting striking pink flowers, this fast-growing deciduous tree is particularly well suited to restoration projects as it attracts mammals (especially bats) and fixes nitrogen, improving the quality of the soil for other plants.
Replanting the Atlantic Forest
REGUA is situated in one of the world’s most diverse and most threatened ecosystems, the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. As well as land purchase projects to create reserves to protect remaining forest, REGUA works to restore the forest and wetland habitats which have been lost to agriculture.
The land which the 400,000th tree was planted on was donated to REGUA by the Danish Travel Fund, and the funds for the tree came from a WLT Plant a Tree supporter. Nicholas Locke, REGUA co-Director, said “This was truly a team success. This particular piece of land is very important, and this marks a very important point in history for us all. We can only hope that with your support we can continue to plant trees and reach a million!”
90 per cent of REGUAʼs trees come from its plant nursery and the entire process of restoration involves local community members and is highly respected by local residents. Tree planting began in 2004 and focuses on native pioneer species, like the Andira anthelmia, which create a vital corridor for wildlife to the wetlands of the reserve and provide valuable erosion protection.