Readers Letters

Dear Editor

Lagoa câmara claims to have a strong commitment to the environment. However, it takes more than soundbites, catchy slogans and glossy brochures to earn environmental credentials. The câmara can be judged instead by its actions. In respect of Alagoas Brancas, the following actions demonstrate a less-than-green agenda:

  • consistently emphasising its requirement to comply with building regulations whilst conveniently neglecting its responsibility to uphold environmental laws
  • repeatedly denying the ecological value of Alagoas Brancas despite the evidence provided by an extensive study by scientists
  • spending time and money producing a video with the explicit aim of disproving the environmental importance of Alagoas Brancas 
  • publicly labelling conscientious campaigners as ‘crazy bird people’
  • appealing against court rulings favourable to the preservation of the habitat
  • having to be pressured into changing the status of Alagoas Brancas in the PDM and in the process creating a Reserva Agricola Nacional (RAN) when it clearly merits being made a Reserva Ecológica Nacional (REN)

Moreover, by these actions, the câmara is failing not only the environment but its citizens as well. The true role of the local authority in sustainable development is to facilitate citizens in manifesting their visions; to help them realise their green ideas, schemes and projects. The administration’s function is to motivate and promote access, not to frustrate and demoralise.

Sadly, unless prevailing attitudes are challenged, it is likely that the dream of a sustainable future for Lagoa, fair and equitable for all (including birds), will remain just that – a dream (and a distant one at that).

The coming months may prove crucial for the survival of Alagoas Brancas as a habitat for vulnerable species. Support from the local community will be vital for the success of the campaign. More public events are being planned. Come and participate with your family, friends and colleagues. Watch this space!

Martin Owen 

PS There is a facebook public group called: “Salvar as Alagoas de Lagoa – Save the Alagoas of Lagoa.

The page has a link to a newly created public petition. If people want to participate in the protest, they could join the group and sign the petition.

Dear Sophie

After reading the articles you have in the December issue on using hemp, plus other articles you have printed about using this product, I am beginning to love it. It is so versatile and green too.

I would love to see in the New Year this product being more widely used. Its versatility should be made more widely known. I think it’s a wonderful product and I would certainly live in a hemp-constructed house. I also intend to purposefully look for items that use hemp in their construction.

Marion Verling, Lagos.

Dear Tomorrow

After reading Sophie Sadler’s fascinating article about the use of hempcrete in building projects, we got in touch with the man she interviewed to find out more. We were so impressed with everything we learned from him about this sustainable building material.

We’re planning to build an eco-friendly property and hadn’t really considered using hemp before, but it’s now our number one choice thanks to Tomorrow and Sophie’s article.

Jenny and John Pickering


Dear Tomorrow

The youngsters from the Lagos Children’s Home enjoyed their annual “Festa dos Estrangeiros “ last Saturday.

They merrily devoured their three-course lunch and Father Xmas distributed their personal gifts. Once again, this would not have been possible without your kind generosity.

We have never before managed to achieve all the children satisfied with their gift. This year we did, with the assistance of a new group of mainly American volunteers (not forgetting the Irish, British and Portuguese). They did a magnificent job of sourcing, shopping and wrapping.

This year’s innovation was a table plan drawn out of a hat and the most beautiful place cards, painstakingly created by one of our volunteers. The kids were made to feel special.

The only thing I had to do was organise the venue, music and menu. The same restaurant and menu as last year was an easy option. They had enjoyed last year’s ”healthy” lunch so much that it was simple to repeat. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, everything that I had a hand in. The food was not what I thought I had ordered. My ego kicked in and I got angry. Luckily, some of the other volunteers tried to soothe me and point out that the children were having a ball. And they were. They were also very appreciative. This also assuaged my ego.

The music was irrelevant because no one was listening to it. They were all admiring their gifts before they had to rush off to watch Portugal lose their soccer match.

If any of your readers would like to join these enthusiastic new volunteers. So far, they have taken the kids to crazy golf, the beach, and swimming and are currently organising a regular event with a dog charity, 

And so, to conclude, thank you very much once again.

Lots of love from Leela and her large elves xxxxxxxx


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