Field Trip

Each field trip will leave Evora in the morning in a bus and return in the afternoon. Participants will be asked to select the preferred option, and if there will be too many registering for the same field trip, the selection will be done on the “first come first served” basis.

Registration in only one field trip is allowed.

Grazing systems
Livestock production in Montado. From tradition to innovation.

Our visit will take us to contrasting extensive meat livestock production farms in Montado (sheep, cattle and pigs). Traditional livestock production systems have animals free-ranging with low labour and capital inputs while innovative systems have improved soil fertility with consequent impacts on rain fed pastures, forages and animal productivity.


08:45 – Meeting point at Fiel Trip Bus Station

09:00 – Depart

09:30 – 10:30 – Visit 1. Herdade do Barrocal (Valverde).
Theme: Sheep production – traditional production system

11:00 – Viana do Alentejo: coffe break

11:30- 12:30 – Visit 2. Herdade da Falcoeira (Aguiar).
Theme: Cattle suckling herd – traditional production system

13:00 – 14:00 – Field lunch at Herdade da Camoeira (Aguiar).

14:00 – 16:00 –  Visit 3. Herdade da Camoeira.
Theme: Cattle suckling herd – innovative production system.

16:30 – 17:30 – Visit 4. Herdade das Feijoas (Torre de Coelheiros) .
Theme: Free range “Alentejano” pig production – traditional system

18:00 – Arrival at Évora University

Forest management
Forest Management

Cultural management of Mediterranean forests and silvopastoral systems varies in relation to the objectives that are intended to, and in accordance with the tree species within them. Goals to be achieved can be the production of cork, fruits/seeds, wood, or provision of ecosystem services such as preservation of soil conditions, nutrient cycle, water cycle regulation and supply, biodiversity refuges and carbon sequestration.

Participants are invited to visit a cork oak silvopastoral system and a mosaic of forests with different dominant trees that are managed either for production of cork, wood, seeds and for provision of several ecosystems services.

8:30 – Departure from Évora

8:50 – Visit to the cork oak silvopastoral experimental plot at “Herdade da Mitra” which belongs to the University of Évora. Several scientific research concerning biodiversity, ecological succession, tree growth, forest management, etc. have been developed here.

11:00 – Departure to Vila Nova de Santo André.

12:30 – Picnic in “Monte do Paio”. A lunch bag is included

13:30 – Visit to “Lagoas de Santo André e da Sancha Natural Reserve”. Occupying a 15km-wide coastal sector and 2 to 3 km inland, the Natural Reserve contains several habitats, including deciduous and sclerophyll Mediterranean forests, such as pine forests (Pinus pinaster and P. pinea) located in the dune ecosystems, gallery forests with Salix alba and Populus alba, and oak silvopastoral systems and forests (Quercus suber, Q. faginea).

18:30 – Arrival in Évora

Biodiversity and ecological functioning
Improving Biodiversity in Montados

In this visit we will travel to Companhia das Lezírias, a very large state driven Estate on the boundary between the region of Alentejo and the region of Lisbon. We will have the opportunity to walk in different areas of Montado. We will see in the field the results of several research and applied projects projects (e.g. improve and rehabilitation of temporary watercourses: enhancement of biodiversity in Montados, impacts of forest and livestock management and the increase of nesting cavities on bird diversity), and have the opportunity to see how the most significant silvo-pastoral farm in Portugal is managed taking into account the support to biodiversity.

09:00 – Departure from Évora

10:30 – Arrival to Companhia das Lezírias with coffee break (and wc)

10:45 – Visit to rice fields and talk on the importance of the management of the water channels for biodiversity. Walk along one of the river sections under a rehabilitation project, and talk the project and the management of riparian areas in the Montado. Visit to Carrasqueira Pinewood and the implementation of cork nestboxes for passerines as part of a project which focus on birds as potential pest controlers.

12:45 – Lunch at Samora Correia village

14:15 – Visit to the Montado in Companhia das Lezírias with walk, and discussion about management (e.g. livestock, tree density, natural regeneration), the impact of management on biodiversity, forest certification and ongoing research projects.

16:15 – Companhia das Lezírias homestead with coffee break (and wc)

16:30 – Return to Évora

18:00 – Arrive to Évora

Forest industry
Forest industry

Portuguese industrial products from forests and trees under silvopastoral systems are mainly wood from Pinus pinaster, wood from Eucalyptus sp. for paper pulp, cork from Quercus suber and dry seeds and nuts from Castanea sativa and Pinus pinea.

Both cork oaks (Q. suber) and Pine stone (P. pinea) are trees natives to the Mediterranean region that can be exploited under silvopastoral systems. Their exploitation represents an interesting balance between the creation of wealth and the protection of the environment, since no trees are cut down to obtain the concerned products.

Participants are invited to visit industries of cork transformations and a silvopastoral system with cork oaks and pine stone as dominant trees in Coruche municipal territory. Coruche is called the World Capital of Cork because it is responsible for 10% of the national cork production.

“Corticeira Amorim” is the largest producer and supplier of cork products worldwide. Their industries transform raw cork planks into natural wine stoppers or into cork agglomerates that are used in several other products. They have several industries worldwide, including two factories in Coruche.

8:30 – Departure from Évora

10:00 – Visit to two “Amorim Industries” that produce technical cork stoppers and quality cork discs to seal champagne and other sparkling wines, located in Coruche.

12:30 – Lunch at “Observatory for Cork Oak and Cork” (Observatório do Sobreiro e da Cortiça). The building was projected by the architect Manuel Couceiro and has a symbolic design representing a cork oak tree metaphor.

13:30 – Visit to the Observatory and presentation of a documentary about cork oak (Quercus suber) silvopastoral systems and cork stripping.

15:00 – Visit to a Montado silvapostoral system with cork oaks and pine stones.

18:30 – Arrival in Évora

Public goods and recreation
Services and leisure in the Montado

This visit will take us to the nice village of Brotas, 50 km North of Évora, to see and talk about the public goods and leisure services provided by the silvo-pastoral system of the region, the Montado. We will walk in the Montado landscape and will be able to appreciate its qualities for leisure and outdoor. We will meet the president of the local hunting association which organizes the wild boar hunting parties and will explain us the importance of this activity for the income of land owners. We will contact a local organizer of outdoor leisure activities in the Montado who will describe the type of activities they promote and the cultural and natural resources linked with this system. We will visit a potery and a monumental cork oak tree classified as of national interest. We will contact with the land owners to understand how these activities can be jointly managed.


09:00 – Departure from Évora

10:00 – Arrival to Brotas with coffee break and wc, at the church square

10:15 – Visit to the “Condado das Águias (Eagles County) – Torre das Águias”. Presentation by the president of the local hunter’s association that is also the land owner and talk about the importance of this service for the Montado owner’s income.  Discussion about trade-offs between hunting and the livestock production in the Montado. The Montado related resources of honey, herbs and olive oil.

12:00 – Visit to Pottery of Brotas.

12:30 – Lunch at Brotas village at the church square

14:00 – “Herdade do Monte da Vinha” – Short hike in the Montado where a local organizer of outdoor and touristic activities will show us what kind of leisure activities are possible to develop in this silvopastoral system and their importance for local economy. Articles made of cork, pastoral art (artifacts made of wood by pastors), the tourist animation / routes, birdwatching and flora. Resources like asparagus and the link with local gastronomy.

Meeting the landowner and discussion about how these activities are integrated in the farm management.

16:00 – Coffee break and wc at the homestead

16:30 –  Visit to the monumental cork oak of “Herdade das Ferrarias”, classified as a tree of public interest

17:30 – Return to Évora by Pavia

18:30 – Arrive to Évora

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