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Faber Halbertsma Group supports reforestation project Faia Brava

24 Apr, 2020 | published at 13:16 CET

Faber Halbertsma Group, together with the Prince Bernhard Cultuur Fonds, makes it possible to reforest a Portuguese nature reserve: Faia Brava. This 1000-hectare nature reserve is located in northeastern Portugal, on either side of the Côa, a tributary of the Douro.

Faia Brava has the status of "privately protected area" and forms the core of a Natura 2000 area of ​​20,000 ha. The area is home to an enormous wealth of animals and plants. In total, 106 bird species, 25 mammals, 9 amphibian species, 9 reptile species and 180 plant species have been identified.

The area is managed by the Portuguese nature conservation organization Associação Transumância e Natureza (ATN). ATN has been affiliated with the Rewilding Europe initiative of WWF and Ark Nature Development from the beginning. Rewilding Europe aims to create 1 million hectares of wilderness in Europe by 2020 - including Faia Brava.

To make Faia Brava suitable as a "new wilderness", all kinds of measures are needed: fire prevention, construction of carcass sites for scavengers and construction of waterholes, for example. And: reforestation.

The work started by the Faber Halbertsma Group via the Prince Bernard Culture Fund at the end of 2019. First, the very poor granite soil per plot of 0.25ha is made suitable for planting trees. That means that life has to return to the ground first. To make the soil more fertile and better able to retain moisture, the land has been cleaned, plowed and sprinkled with lime to increase the pH value. Vetch is then sown. This is a type of flower that binds nitrogen and thus brings nutrients into the soil. Once that process is complete, the soil is ready to be planted.

The first plots are now ready. ATN hopes to start planting trees in November.