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AYCH Ocean Cíes Camp,

Ria de Vigo, Spain

RESEARCH - EXPLORATION - SUSTAINABILITY - TRAVEL
AYCH Ocean Cíes Camp, Ria de Vigo, Spain, July 2019

I had a fantastic four days volunteering for the AYCH Ocean Cíes Camp 2019 located on a national park just off the coast of Pontevedra Galicia, Spain. The days consisted of beach cleans, assessments of items found, watersports, prototype design and production plus long walks around the beautiful islands.

AYCH OCEAN: PILOT PROJECT OF PROTOTYPING WITH PLASTIC IN THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT OF THE NATIONAL PARK OF THE ATLANTIC ISLANDS OF GALICIA

I arrived into Santiago de Compostela a couple of days before the ferry was due to take me to the island from Vigo, so took some time to get to know the area which has been on my radar for a short while after watching A Road Through Galicia by Reef. I took the train to Vigo and stumbled across an amazing eco and 100% gluten free restaurant called Amodo Restaurante Orgánico which was so good I went back to on my way home!Highlighting the impact of tourism and working to promote sustainability and more conscious enjoyment of the islands, around 120 volunteers stay at the camp each year to help keep the beaches clean to raise awareness of the wildlife. I was lucky to meet an international team of Spanish, Italian and Dutch volunteers and assisted with the design of a bag made from Eucalyptus bark, a non-native tree growing in abundance on the island which is being slowly replaced by original fauna.Additionally the team learnt more about the history of the island, we got to see an area that isn’t open to the public and discovered the nature that resides within the forests and beaches.

As well as maintenance, another objective of Cies Volunteer Camp is to provide practical solutions for the benefit of the Islands and their natural environment. I assisted the team with designing and making a backpack (illustration above drawn by Victor) made from waste eucalyptus bark that tourists could use whilst visiting the islands and if they choose, take them home as a souvenir. With a tight time frame after a full day working and enjoying the environment, it was wonderful to see the creativity and passion behind each idea and I'm looking forward to hearing about the selections reviewed during an event in Porto, Portugal next year.

Truly stunning and more than just white sands and clear blue water to be found, thanks so much to the AYCH project for this opportunity and for having me be a part of the team, I'll be back again soon to help more I hope!