Vale das Lobas

The wolf represents the realm of instinct and is a powerful symbol of the wild. 

Rich Agricultural Tradition

The heart of the valley is rich in ancient olives, chestnut forest, oak and cork trees, and surrounded by rugged granite outcrops and hillsides. Once home to a patchwork of subsistence farming, now almost entirely abandoned. 

Chestnut Forest

The chestnut forest of 15 hectares was first planted over 3 centuries ago. In recent years it has survived two wildfires with impressive vitality, and it supports a burgeoning biodiversity. 

Muxagata River

The Muxagata river begins in a natural spring, and its clear waters flow through the valley, into the Mondego. In the past, the river’s energy was used to power grain and olive mills.

Biodiversity

The valley is home to a wide variety of species, including frogs, toads, snakes, river turtles, genets, wild boar, badgers, foxes, and a multitude of bird species, including owls, falcons, eagles, nightjars, cuckoos, woodpeckers and bee-eaters.

Generations of ancestors have settled in this valley for its healing spring water and fertile lands. This is a landscape of terraced gardens and forests with a history that goes back at least 10,000 years – from the Lusitani who built the megalithic temple of Fraga da Pena, to the Romans, the Moors, and the modern era.

The Vale das Lobas program is transforming the valley into a Biodiversity Park, a special area for biodiversityrewilding and nature discovery. With minimum intervention and maximum protection, nature is regenerating and rebalancing herself. The best indicators of ecological regeneration are improving soil quality and increasing biodiversity. Recovering biodiversity leads to more birds, insects, wild animals, an increasing range of plant life, and the soil becoming richer in micro-organisms, providing the basis for entire eco-system recovery.

The Biodiversity Park is a community based initiative, involving local municipalities, landowners, and local, national and international organisations, including Rewilding Europe.