Red Eléctrica collaborates in the sustainable management of the ‘Almaraz Orchids’

Following the signing of a collaborative agreement with the Government of Extremadura, the company has made an undertaking to assist with the recovery and conservation of orchids in the town of Almaraz.

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Red Eléctrica’s Corporate Director of Sustainability, Innovation and Institutional Coordination, Ana Cuevas, joined the Extremadura Government’s Minister for the Environment, Rural Affairs and Agricultural and Regional Policy, Begoña García, in Mérida to sign a collaborative agreement to improve awareness of the botanical importance of the “El Sierro” limestone outcrop in Almaraz and to support the recovery and conservation of the region’s orchids, especially the Ophrys apifera, a variety indigenous to Almeria.

The agreement is connected with the environmental undertakings made by the company in relation to the San Serván substation project and the 400 kV Almaraz-San Serván, San Serván-Brovales and Brovales-Guillena power lines, for which Red Eléctrica acquired land that is home to an indigenous variety of orchid known locally as the “Almaraz Orchid” (Ophrys apifera var. almaracensis).

This species of orchid is unique in the world, and its future viability is under threat due to the fact that it is solely found within an area covering little more than 11 hectares. This land is located in an area of Almaraz known as “El Sierro”, declared an area of Special Scientific Interest in Extremadura as a result of the presence of these orchids, which are highly vulnerable, both due to the changes in their natural habitat and as a result of illegal picking. There are currently only 463 known plants of this variety remaining.

The Ministry will implement measures designed to ensure compliance with the specific aims of the agreement, which will include: ensuring the viability and conservation of the various species, particularly flora, found in the “El Sierro” area of Almaraz, developing environmental awareness and study activities relating to the various plant species, particularly orchids, and encouraging involvement in environmental conservation from members of the public, with a view to preventing the “Almaraz Orchids” from being illegally picked or damaged.