Algeria – Hunting Plastic

Pretty much every weekend, husband and I go plogging in our neighbouring forest. Sometimes students are tagging along, sometimes members of the public help. We once even had a soldier from the close-by military compound giving us a bin bag and saying thank you.

This is actually what most people do – watching what we do and then saying thanks. So, somehow information about us and our hobby found its way all up to the townhall where at the beginning of April we met Oran’s mayor and some notables, who are also fighting against illegal cutting down of trees.

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The mayor expressed how grateful he and the city of Oran were for our contribution to keep this little patch of green clean and our school’s managing director translated. We were then presented with a certificate of appreciation and a handmade tile, which was beautiful. Tile-making is a local tradition.

From the townhall we went to a near-by privately run museum about the fight for independence from France. There was a connection to our local forest too, because it had been a venue for executions of resistance fighters. There are apparently still trees which have bullets lodged in them.

It was a lovely morning and a great surprise. We’re both very happy that litter-picking is such an appreciated pastime and would be even happier if it wasn’t necessary. However, things being the way they are, in the afternoon we went for a plog and we’ll keep on doing so.

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Dinosaur of the week: Common Swift

common swift

These Apus apus were seen and heard in Slovakia, a couple of years ago. We have them here in Algeria too, but the flocks are always mixed in with Pallid Swift. As long as there are any swifts in the sky, it’s a proper one. However, according to the IUCN the ‘species is negatively impacted by building renovation, re-roofing or demolition which leads to a loss of nest sites.’ On top of that, swifts feed on insects so plummeting insect populations are bound to have an impact on the birds.