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


ATN feels addressed to promote reforestry activities, aligned with the international priorities formulated by IPCC and the new green deal from the EU. Trees play a key role in the so-called mosaic landscape, as they create micro climates and habitats facilitating an increase of biodiversity. We would like to contribute significantly in CO2 sequestration and offer services to companies to compensate their CO2 production.

Last years our reforestry activities were not so successful. The coming years we will develop a new reforestry approach with support from the Prins Bernard fund. End of January, forestry expert Ronald Buiting visited ATN to share his ideas about reforestry in our semi-arid region. A new concept will be implemented, taking into account the long dry summer, the poor granite acid soil and protection against damage by wild boars and other herbivores. ronald visit

Ronald Buiting will monitor the progress of our activities and in autumn he will pay a next visit to supervise the planting activities, the compost pile and our nursery.

The workshop to guide visits in Faia Brava Reserve was held on 29 February and 1 March. This workshop aimed to train people interested in guiding pedestrian visits to the Faia Brava Reserve on the biologists' trail. This workshop covered topics related to the history of ATNatureza and Faia Brava Reserve, the importance in terms of conservation, emblematic species and good practices for receiving and accompanying visitors. The group of 12 participants plus the Trainer-Guide Marco Ferraz over two days developed skills to improve their activity as Nature Guides, and in the end everyone was able to develop their activity on the biologists trail in the Faia Brava Reserve.

This workshop is part of the training program that the ATNatureza Academy, which throughout the year will develop training activities with a special focus on Natural Sciences and Management of Biodiversity areas, to train Nature Guides as well as Land Owners, Managers of Natural Spaces, Biologists, Students and other interested parties.

The next activity will be held on March 21st “Pasture Management Workshop” for Biodiversity - This workshop aims to show how sustainable management of pastures and herbivores can promote biodiversity and promote quality pastures. Register now via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

   Afbeelding2          at office 


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