– Monday 1st September 2014

Today I am going to break the habit of a lifetime and ask for financial help. Not something I do without a lot of soul-searching, as Maureen and I always believed we should only work with what we had, credit being the “work of the devil” and totally unsustainable. But EL POCITO could really do with some extra support right now, and I hope the spirit of MONKEY & SOFIA will come to the rescue once again.

There are two problems. The first is a new liability for fire-prevention (brush-cutting everything on the land except trees and certain shrubs), which has just become a legal responsibility, enforceable by a hefty fine or seizure of property. Previously this had only affected large landowners, who were already more than covered by the lavish subsidies they receive. Small landowners like EL POCITO though have to pay for it all ourselves. Up until Maureen got ill I had already been working at keeping El Pocito safe from arson (the primary cause of forest fires), but by hand and a bit at a time. This is no longer acceptable, and at the end of the month I have to hire someone to come in and do it with a brush-cutter. The cost is going to be substantial.

The second problem is with the wild boar and deer, who are not only increasing in numbers but eat everything in sight, thereby hastening the erosion of the top-soil/ destroy the ancient dry-stone terracing/ and are getting closer and closer to breaking through the 200 metre wire fence we put up to protect the forest garden. To sort this out will require replacing the entire older perimeter fence (600 metres).

If you can help in any way please get in touch asap.

Phil

monkeyandsofia@yahoo.co.uk

(text messages) 00 34 633 731 906

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