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Mauro Varotto, Luca Lodatti - University of Padova, Department of Geography ‘ Adopting’ a drystone terrace to sustain a cultural landscape Drystone works between insider and outsider Ambleside, Cumbria (UK) 12 th International Congress of Dry-stone Walling - September 4-6 th 2010
The activities presented here start from the basis of the ‘Alpter’ project.
ALPTER’ PROJECT www.alpter.net
A research project about terraced areas in the Alps, aimed at enlarging the territorial knowledge and developing tools for promotion and recovery. Financed by the EU Interreg ‘Alpine Space’ program for territorial cooperation in the period 2005-2008.
In the Venetian Region the River Brenta Valley was chosen as project pilot area for the researches.
Regione Veneto (Lead Partner) Regione Liguria (I)
Regione Valle d’Aosta (I) IREALP (I)
Universität BOKU of Vienna ( A) Univ of Ljublijana (SLO)
Dep. Alps Maritimes (F) Regione Bregaglia (CH)
In collaboration wirh UNESCO
Some results :
A common method for analysis of terraced sites.
Integrated projects of recovery and revitalization.
Through the Alpter project has been possible to acquire the basic knowledge about terraced areas in the River Brenta Valley:
Terraces mapping and cadastre
Detailed survey of the structures
Natural hazard studies
Moreover, recovery projects were drawn.
Research activities in the Brenta River Valley
During the research activities, some self-made restoration works were witnessed, in particular from associations (NGOs) of citizens from urban centers nearby the River Brenta Valley (i.e. Bassano del Grappa). Here you see the restoration of a terrace covered by woods by a Scout Group. Ongoing processes on the ground: some ‘New pioneers’
Here two ex- teachers start cultivating their vegetable garden on a terrace For producing vegetables, and for nice flowers too. The vegetable garden of citizens from a nearby town
From the spontaneous activities we developed the idea of the ‘Adopt a terrace’ project:
It received the support of the Municipality of Valstagna, of the Italian Alpine Club and of university of Padova, with different roles
A set of practival rules for recovery of terraces have been defined, to safeguard them
Beside the direct adoption of a terrace, it is possible a ‘long-range adoption’ of a terrace
The idea of the ‘Adopt a terrace’ project Here below, the logos of the istitutions whoch supports the project. On the right, the first local promotion materials (press artciles, flyers) for the project. ITALIAN ALPINE CLUB MUNICIPALYTY OF VALSTAGNA UNIVERSITY OF PADOVA
Some difficulties for private citizens to overcome in finding a terrace to cultivate:
very ‘fragmented’ land ownership because of past inheritances
For the ‘adoption’ a legal procedure has been developd, which includes:
A contract of ‘free loan’ (‘commodatum’) signed by the landowner to give the terrace in adoption, with a set of rules for its use
A Committee formed by both local and outside people, to counter-sign the contract
A land-use plan for the first available terraces, with first restoration objectives
The procedure for adopting a terrace
Overall adoption management system Adoption Commitee Abandoned Terraces Local landowners University of Padova Municipality of Valstagna Italian Alpine Club Terraces recovery and cultivation Long-range adoption Direct adoption Local workers Nearby towns inhabitants Local people
On the web-site, a step-by-step procedure will be available to adopt a terrace:
Register for membership with a few data
Check the list of available terraces with the related restoration activities
Choose one and the contributions to offer (with ‘quotas’ of 30 € each, about 20 £)
What the project will do:
A certificate of adoption will be sent to all members
The first restoration works in autumn 2010 (bush clearing) will cost 10 quotas for terrace, with a local workers crew.
The web site will be regularly updated with images of ongoing works and the contributors kept informed to see the adoption results
The web-site for long-range Adoption of a terrace
Historical relationship INSIDER vs OUTSIDER Different perception Different historical background Different objectives Possible target relationship INSIDER OUTSIDER Common work on terraces Common agronomic competencies also common family/geographic origin… Adopting a terrace between insider and outsider (1)
ENVIRONMENTAL VALUE Biodiversity safeguard ECONOMIC VALUE Intensive cultivation SOCIO-CULTURAL VALUE Personal satisfaction HISTORICAL VALUE Local heritage Terraces recovery as halfway point OUTSIDER POINT-OF-VIEW INSIDER POINT-OF-VIEW