The company was born in 2005 due to the concern for the environment of two biologists, David Martin and Mar Pinillos. We thought we could bring our knowledge and experience to recognize and solve environmental problems from a different point of view, and value the natural and cultural heritage development in our region. This year, we also opened our Casa Rural “El mirador de la cigüeña” that was recently awarded with the Accommodation Establishment Certification CERES- ECOTUR. We have a well-defined philosophy: Learn to conserve. One of our actions is to recuperate traditional knowledgement through interviews with old people from our villages. Afterwards, this information is integrated in our cultural activities. We investigate and disseminate those skills that help education towards the respect for our environment. As consumers of organic products, we raise awareness on the need for consuming products that improve the health of our nearby environment, and promoting the consumption of local products, in order to improve the economy of our towns. We also try to enhance the knowledge of craft activities in the places where we organize activities. We develop educational programs and interpretative tours for schoolchildren and family groups in the province of Segovia. Besides, we organize various theoretical and practical workshops and courses: ethnobotany, organic gardening/ farming, water analysis, introduction to ornithology tours… Undoubtedly, our star attraction is our research, compilation and dissemination of cultural and natural aspects related to biodiversity conservation in our province. Thus, we have conducted studies on the importance of traditional water points for amphibian conservation, ethnobotanical studies by intergenerational workshops, and studies on water communities in the medieval time on the northern slope of the Sierra de Guadarrama, proving its importance for the conservation of Segovia foothills.
About the destinations:
Our company has over 5 years experience, in which apart from organizing guided interpretive tours, we also write publications related to the regional natural and cultural environment. The owners of the company are co-authors of guidebooks and educational programs for schools and families. We are very aware of the importance for nature protection and conservation, therefore we try to minimise the environmental impact of our activities. For instance, “Por el caz del acueducto” tour goes through a sensitive area for the Imperial Eagle, so we make sure that all regulations and codes of behaviour are accomplished and obeyed by the members of the group. The tour guides that work for the company, as well as us, are biologists, and have wide professional experience on this field. The maximum number of tourists per group is 15 people per guide in ornithology tours, or initiation to ornithology. In the case of other tours, the maximum number of participants is 20- 25 people per guide. If it is necessary to do several groups, these will walk at a prudent distance for decreasing the human impact on the environment. Depending upon the profile of our clients, we can double the number of guides for better customer service and security. We have also organized tours for people with dissabilities. Our actitivies are generally for groups up to 50.
Support the Local Economy:
The company employs local guides and offers hiking activities, local food, and guided tours to places of cultural and historical interest. We encourage our guests to buy local products when visiting small businesses, such as the organic cheese factory. For example, we offer a visit to an organic cheese farm, we contact the producer so he explains the process, and sell his/hers products to our guests. If there are soap or natural cosmetic factories in the villages, we also visit them. We participate in a program named “Sácale tajada a las botas” (take advantage of your boots) see www.tenadadelmonte.es/20.html, and soon we will take part in “conocer para conservar” (Learn to conserve). These visits aim to get an in depth knowledgement (ethnographic, cultural and natural) of visited places with organic and local picnics. We belong to the Segovia Ecological Association, which brings together producers and consumers of organic products, working in various activities. We have also participated in courses offered by the Local Action Group South Segovia and collaborated in various conferences and lectures on the conservation of certain natural and cultural elements of interest.
When possible, tours are designed rounded to avoid costs and emissions of CO2. We take public transport to places that are accesible by this mean, activities are scheduled to adapt to arrival and departure times of public transport. As for shopping, we only purchase recycled paper with European ecological certification and the logo “Blue Angel”. Cartridge are refilled and reused. 95% of our activities and promotion is done via e- mail. We separate and recycle our waste.
ENVIRONMENTAL PLAN SUMMARY: Identification of the impacts of our hiking trips on the environment: Erosion-compacting by trampling. We avoid taking shortcuts or paths less traveled, walk on the main roads or signed paths, except for safety reasons. – Generation of waste: Waste is classified in bags for subsequent disposal in the nearby villages, in their respective containers. – Noise impact on wildlife: In sensitive areas and seasons, we avoid going through sensitive sites, if it is not possible, silence is required and monitored for compliance. – Impact on flora. We inform on the ban of collecting flora, especially if we unknown its status of conservation. – Step on a private property with livestock. Gates and doorways have to be closed, if we walk through some private or communal property with cattle inside. We do not disturb livestock.
Active contribution to the Conservation:
We promote and have undertaken studies on the conservation of cultural items of interest and endangered wildlife species, such as amphibians. We promote an association, currently on process, to study amphibians. We respect the following code of conduct (1) Local regulations on conservation, appropriate behavior in sensitive habitats, wildlife encounters, fragile and rare plants, (2) Local recommendations and regulations regarding campsite, making fire, latrines, waste disposal, cleaning (3) The right of public access in general, and specifically during the tour, (4) Rules to access historical sites and / or scientific research areas, (5) Special considerations during the visit. For example, during the nesting season, (6) Respect local population and industries.
Quality and Safety:
Number of Liability Insurance Policy: RF-5-400.000.918. Seguros Generali. Number of accidents and rescue Insurance policy:: 09-0109216. Seguros Metrópolis. There is a protocol in case of accidents, by using previous preventive measures, which characterize the most common types of accidents in hiking, such as sprains and falls. Additionally, some information and suggestions are provided for the available tour. This is a summary: – Before taking a route, this will review to know its status, if this had not been previously done.- A ratio of guide/ participants will be established according to the number of clients, and the level of risk. – Before beginning the activity, we ask our customers about their degree of expertise. The potential existence of certain diseases and medical conditions may affect the participation in some routes.- On the information that we send to our clients is especified: destination, itinerary, necessary equipment and materials, required physical conditions and skills to practice these activities, and level of difficulty. –Civil responsability and accidents insurance policies. – Clients may follow guides´ instructions, the company can refuse to provide the service if they fail to meet these obligations. – First aid kits are always carried by guides. They also take walkie talkies and mobile phone to communicate with other guides.