Increasing the environmental value of the natural and semi-natural forest habitats of Zambujo, a Navigator property located in Idanha-a-Nova, in the heart of the International Tagus Natural Park, is the aim of the Zambujo reCover initiative, which will undertake the ecological restoration of an area equivalent to about 150 football pitches.
Recovering poor soils and planting autochthonous species adapted to the relief, climate, and soil conditions of the International Tagus Natural Park are two of the numerous activities being carried out under the Zambujo reCover project, which aims to facilitate the ecological restoration of more than 150 hectares of Zambujo, a forestry property located near the Spanish border.
Besides being vast, the project’s intervention area is entirely within the Special Protection Area (SPA) pertaining to the International Tagus, Erges and Pônsul Natural Park, which is classified under the Natura 2000 Network, and 118 of its hectares are part of the International Tagus Natural Park, which clearly shows the importance of this area for the conservation of habitats and various species of fauna and flora.
“This property had already been identified by The Navigator Company as having several High Conservation Value Areas because it has several protected habitats, which are in good condition, and because it has vegetation-covered escarpments that provide an important environmental service—soil retention,” says Nuno Rico, who is responsible for biodiversity conservation at the company.
The planned environmental intervention measures will thus enhance the value of this forest estate, dedicating a large part of its area to soil protection and nature conservation, in an initiative that brings together The Navigator Company and the Forestry and Paper Research Institute RAIZ, with the support of outside specialists.
The project took its first steps in 2022, but it is in 2023 that most of the intervention measures will take place on the ground. In addition to the planting of native trees and the densification of existing holm oak groves, experimental actions will be carried out to improve soil quality and minimise the risk of erosion, which will subsequently be studied with a view to identifying best practices. The activities are planned so as not to interfere with the rhythms of the various species of wildlife present at Zambujo, including protected birds that nest and feed here.