Branch Out From Our Tree

One of the principle reasons we created ArBOR was to act as an umbrella organisation for all manner of regenerative initiatives in this area. Anyone can bring a project to us and branch out from our tree.

If you have connections to this area and a brilliant idea for developing a particular project for the benefit of the environment and communities here, this is your chance!


  • Are you based in our geographical area?
  • Do you have an idea for a community, environmental or technological project with a regenerative focus which you’d really love to develop?
  • Is one of the major hurdles the fact you don’t have the legal status of an association in order to apply for funding?
  • Would you like to work with other like-minded people rather than go it alone?


The area where you can grow a branch on ArBOR's tree


ArBOR’s area of activities are defined by the physical geographical boundaries of this valley system.

While we all have close ties with people outside this area, the natural systems within these valleys, their unique characteristics and our commitment to solutions which are rooted in place determine our limits … and we have to draw the lines somewhere!

All projects under the umbrella of this association should be …

  • implemented in,
  • designed and managed from within, and
  • conceived to benefit the living systems and communities of

this area, and conform with the association’s internal regulations.


We are interested in ideas which

  • develop circularity and diversity of exchange patterns within the local economy and which build capacity
  • develop wellbeing (whether physical, psychological, social, economic or environmental) at community level
  • develop a community service or resource
  • develop sustainable infrastructure
  • develop education and training in regenerative thinking and practices

We are more interested in projects with tangible, multiple and long-term benefits  – following the analogy of what it is to branch out from a tree – than finite one-off performance or exhibition-related initiatives. This isn’t to say we’re not interested in performance or exhibition-related projects, but that the project should seek to be more far-reaching in scope and purpose than a one-off entertainment event.

We’re happy to enter into joint projects with other organisations which may not be geograhically-based or which cover a wider or different area than our own, but projects should still have direct relevance and application to our geographical area and communities.



Any member of the association, whether individual, project or collective, can bring project suggestions to the table.


You can …

  • suggest a project for ArBOR to take on (in which case acceptance and timescales will depend on our current capacity and priorities)
  • bring a project you’d like to direct and implement yourself


You can…

  • suggest a project for ArBOR to take on (in which case acceptance and timescales will depend on our current capacity and priorities)
  • bring a project you’d like to develop by partnering with people who are based in the area

Your project must have person(s) bearing overall or joint responsibility for the project who are based in this area. That local person should have a leading role in the design of the project to ensure it’s appropriately contextualised and be here for day-to-day management of the project as well as reporting to and liaising with ArBOR’s management team.

We’re very aware that in drawing our boundaries the way we have, we’re excluding people who are literally just the other side of them, especially further into the mountains where population density is even lower than here. If this is you, then please don’t let this stop you from coming to talk to us. There is such a thing as close enough …

For those in the more populous areas to the north of us and along the Alva valley, how about forming your own associations along similar lines? It’s forests we need to plant, not single trees.



First become a member of ArBOR.

Then bring your project to the governing body of the association (think of us as the tree trunk!) so we can discuss how we might work together to bring it to fruition.

We will need to ensure we all agree …

  • your idea fits our regenerative objectives
  • it’s to be implemented within our geographical area
  • it’s for the benefit of our environment and/or communities with the emphasis on inclusion and integration
  • it’s to be designed and managed locally
  • it’s a viable, solid and achievable proposition
  • we have confidence in you to do a good job (as we’re the ones carrying the legal responsibility for your project and putting the association’s reputation behind you)

Once agreed, your project will become a project member of the association (the membership fees go towards offsetting the association’s administrative costs in processing eg. funding, volunteer applications, etc) and you will then be in charge of the design, funding application(s), management and implementation of your project. You can use the association’s legal and fiscal structure and non-profit status to support your application(s) for funding.

You can gather a team together to help you (they will also need to become members of the association, though they don’t all need to live within our boundaries).

We accept – indeed welcome and encourage – the involvement of the local Junta de Freguesia, the Câmara Municipal, associations with similar objectives, academic institutions (particularly in the area of monitoring and validating your project, if appropriate), and other relevant organisations.

You will be able to take advantage of our social media exposure and our ability to bring in volunteers, including volunteers and interns through Erasmus+ and EVS. Your project will also be featured on this website to promote what you’re doing.

And though we say it ourselves, you get to become part of a great team! (And as an individual member of ArBOR, you’re also eligible to stand for election to the governing body on a 2-year cycle and get even more involved.)




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Rua da Capela 36

3305-037 Pai das Donas

Coimbra, Portugal