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NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

In the past, Lofou used to be one of the largest vine villages of Cyprus and consequently large land expanses around the community were covered in vines. Today, due to the intensity of urbanization and the conversion of the Cypriot economy from agricultural to an economy of services, the cultivation of the countryside has, to a great extent, been abandoned. Therefore, large expanses of land remain uncultivated. In other words, the biggest part of the 12,5 square kilometres which fall within the administrative jurisdiction of the community consists of uncultivated pieces of land dominated by wild natural vegetation  (mainly Cyprus Brooms, golden oaks, mastics, terebinths and other plants).

The main cultivations of Lofou consist of wine vines, while smaller pieces of land include almond and olive tree cultivations, grains and pasture plants.

In the past, land cultivation was one of the basic occupations of the villagers. Today, this is not the case since the residents mainly deal with live-stock breeding, while some are occupied in the field of entertainment and foodservice. At present, land cultivation constitutes a part time occupation for the expatriate people of Lofou while live-stock breeding, which was previously mentioned as one of the basic professions of the residents, is also limited today. According to data provided by researcher Petros Porakos, 399 goats, 40 sheep and very few poultries were bred in Lofou in 1985.  

What must be noted is that vine cultivation dominated the agricultural preferences of the residents of Lofou up until the 80s. Today, only a few expatriates of Lofou continue to cultivate vines on a part-time basis. The main reasons that led to the abandonment of vine cultivation in Lofou lie in the fact that our economy has converted from an agricultural economy into an economy of services, while the intense urbanisation, the preference of vine cultivators and consumers for table grapes and the fall of grape prices due to imported competition also played their part.  

Contrary to vine cultivation, olive cultivation in Lofou has always been limited. The climate of the area has never been particularly beneficial for olive cultivation. After all, vine cultivation dominated the agricultural preference of the people of Lofou. Nowadays, olive cultivation is even more limited as the expatriates of Lofou harvest olives sporadically.

In Lofou there are three greenery areas which are covered by Cyprus local vegetation including pine trees, cypresses, myrtles and others. Their care and maintenance has been jointly undertaken by the Community Council and the Association of Expatriates of Lofou.  

Finally, in Lofou one can encounter the typical fauna of the mountainous areas of Cyprus. There are both permanent and migratory birds, reptiles such as snakes and lizards, as well as the typical mammals such as foxes.

Information Sources:

Lofou Community Council

Petros Porakos (2004) “Lofou: Its people through space and time”.

 

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