Life in Entrimo

Entrimo is a rural town council in the mountains of Ourense. It is located in the region of A Baixa Limia at 511 m above the level of the sea and its surface takes up 84.53 km2.

Entrimo is subdivided in 5 parishes: A Illa (San Lourenzo), A Pereira (San Facundo) Entrimo (Santa María a Real), Galez (San Fiz) and Venceáns (San Tomé). There are 16 localities, whose dispersion make service rendering difficult. This is a well-known problem in all the Galician countryside which is even worse in peripheral regions as ours.

The highest population rate of Entrimo was in the 40s. There were 3,778 census-taking inhabitants who currently decreased to 1,370. The reason for this abandonment was emigration to the capital city, to the rest of Spain and to foreign countries, both European and South American.

Nowadays our population is very old and presents an inverted pyramid, where the group of advanced age is prevailing.

All this turns into a socioeconomic situation that needs to be reverted to reach demographic sustainability. Our challenge in Entrimo is to create an improved environment with more employment possibilities and a better life quality for the inhabitants.

That is why Natura 2000, the Nature Reserve and the Biosphere Reserve are good chances we have to appreciate in order to improve the rural development, incomes, employment and life quality. We still have to do a lot of things, but it has to be said, that we have already done a lot in recent years. Then now we have a school for children, a health centre and a residential home. We are also going for recovering our architectonic heritage, by restoring traditional houses. Furthermore, we face the challenge of extending the internet broad, so that our inhabitants and visitors can receive information, digital services and possible offers of leisure and, why not, also of business and teleworking.

The use of forests and farming, as well as the transformation of endogenous resources, are essential mainstays of our local economy, together with nature and an every day increasing rural tourism.

Farming and cattle raising are strongly conditioned by steep slopes and, in many places, by the scarcity of soil. In spite of it, cattle raising and sustainable management of forests are the most prevalent activities in the region. They are essential for the management of the natural resources of Entrimo. Any threat to their development and continuity is also a threat to the sustainability future of the environment and to the maintenance of the values of Natura 2000, since they make up the varied landscape that preserves the habitats declared as Area of Community Interest. That is the reason, because of it all advances in its consolidation, feasibility and improvement, are also priorities of environmental policies that try to preserve our nature values for the future.

Meat and milk production, as well as other dairy products such as distinguishable cheese sorts of high quality, taste and personality, make up the sustainable products that the natural environment needs to be conserved.

Pastures and arable lands are not only the habitat of numerous flora and fauna species, but they are also natural firebreaks that avoid the existence and spreading of forest fires, since they avoid that the fire reaches the population centres. It is a kind of "green belt" that, from time immemorial, has protected the houses by breaking the continuity of forest fuel with pastures and arable lands which surround the inhabited areas.

The forest management of Entrimo, a public service of the town council, and the 6 town forests of communal use, totalize 3446 ha and are being managed in a sustainable way, according to Forest Arrangement Projects or Technical Management Plans that are supervised and endorsed by the forestry body of the Autonomous Region, after having been authorized by the environment body and the governing body of the Nature Reserve. Nevertheless, the main current hindrance to materialize sustainable forest management in Entrimo, as in the rest of Galicia, are forest fires.

Rural and nature tourism, together with the primary sector, is undoubtedly one of the engines of the economic activity and social sustainability in the region, as it generates new good-quality employment opportunities in the countryside.

Life in Entrimo is definitely a commitment to a life way that is always linked to sustainable management of local endogenous resources. All this in a rural environment, in which nature, environment and protected open spaces are perceived as possibilities and constant challenges to value and generate good-quality income and employment opportunities.

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