Below you see the results (right picture) of a field sown with vetch, rye and lupine.  A year ago this field with a granite, depleted acidic soil (ph = 4), it looked like you see in the left picture. The ATN personnel was surprised to see the production with all these flowers.OK, we disseminated some chalk to increase a bit the PH or acidity. But normally the impact of chalk you see a bit later. 

Now it is time for horses (garranos), was said.

We hope that the organic matter % will increase substantially and the water harvested in the soil will also increase. The coming years we do nothing and we just monitor, monitor and monitor. We are curious if more indigenous plants with flowers and insects will appear. We hope this will push biodiversity. 

top plot in 2019

     top plot mei 2020

Due to the situation of uncertainty  we all experience, we are unfortunately forced to postpone the celebration of ATNatureza's 20 years "Create Spaces for Nature".

The time for the celebration will come, and Nature spaces such as the Faia Brava Reserve will certainly be privileged places to celebrate Individual and Planetary Life and Health.

We will welcome you and make your visit a unique and special celebration!

annularung 20 jaar viering UK

In the month of march 2020 ATN has started an experiment with 10 waterboxes, planting young trees of two years old. The waterbox is a dutch innovation from Groasis for planting trees in arid areas. Using the waterboxes, we hope that it won’t be necessary anymore to supply extra water for the young trees in the hot and dry summer. For ATN the manhour and car costs to bring water to the young trees is quite a burden. In the summer we will check once a week if there is still water in the small watercontainers inside the waterbox.

On the Groasis website you find much more information about the Groasis Ecological Water Saving Technology, they claim, you get a +90% survival rate without using irrigation and it is also much cheaper than drip irrigation…..  

We also planted 10 young trees, and protected the soil with mulch. In the summer we will check each week if the soil is still a bit moisty.

In this way we can make a feasibility analysis of both reforestry methods and we can calculate which method is most attractive for Faia Brava.

waterbox3 2     mulch2


The granite soil in our nature reserve Faia Brava is very poor with almost no organic matter. This causes that water from rain is almost not captured in the soil, with the consequence that in the dry hot summer only some plants may survive. This causes that our herbivores, the wild horses (garranos) and bovines (maronesas) do not have enough food.

When we would be able to enrich the soil and, in this way, improve the water harvesting capabilities of the soil; more plants, grasses will have a chance to grow, attracting more insects and this will attract more birds, etc. In this way we test if we might be able to give a push to biodiversity on a small scale.

In November 2019 we sowed a mix of vetch, rye and lupine at some plots. Vetch and Lupine are Leguminosae and these plants fix nitrogen in the soil, which can used by other plant varieties. Below you see the yellow flowers of Lupine. Now it is time to observe; would we see already a difference in the month of August?


On February 29th, ATNatureza promoted testing of lead-free ammunition for hunting managers. Hunters and game  managers were sensitized about the negative consequences of the use of lead ammunition for necrophagous species (such as vultures) and in the quality of hunt meat, which is subsequently consumed.

Participants received information provided by an ammunition specialist, who explained the technical differences between conventional lead ammunition and alternative ammunition of the new generation, consisting of alternative metal alloys, free from that heavy metal. These ammunitions, in addition to being equally effective, or even superior, in terms of ballistic behaviour, have the advantage of not fragmenting when striking the hunting piece. “This is one of the fundamental differences between the two types of ammunition: lead ammunition fragment when it hits the target, and tests carried out in a controlled environment have shown that, on average, lead projectiles lose about 23% of their weight after the collision, while the new generation ammunition remains intact ”, said Dr. Rui Pereira (CACICAMBRA), who collaborated on this experience. "It is also a way of promoting the full use of meat, since there is no contamination of the meat with this type of projectiles, instead of what occurs with lead".

Workshop    shoot with new ammunition


Page 3 of 6

Become a Member of ATNatureza

To be a member of ATNature is to be part of a group of conservationist friends who support nature.

become a member


Visit Paolo Azevedo, chairman of Sonae

Last week we were delighted and grateful to receive Mr. Paulo Azevedo Chairman of SONAE and Dr. Nuno Ferrand Almeida of CIBIO, at our Faia Brava Reserve. Paolo Azevedo is the chairman of Sonae, a mult...

read more

ATNatureza accredited for Dutch Vocational Education an…

ATNatureza is accredited by the "Cooperation Organization for Vocational Education, Training and the Labor Market (SBB)"  to the list of Portuguese entities accredited to receive and accompany Du...

read more

ATNatureza in tv-series Europe’s New Wild

Watch this month at TV canal NatGeo Wild, the 6 episodes of the tv-series ‘Europe’s New Wild’ about Europa’s wild nature. In the second episode you will embark on a journey to the greater Coa Valley i...

read more
more news