Recreio do Gaio

This area was already well known by members of Pro Nativa who live close by and its potential for rewilding had even been commented on with other specialists.

This became even clearer when visited with the property owners. An on-site analysis revealed areas with a mixture of maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) stands at varying levels of maturity, dense thickets of wattle (Acacia longifolia) combined with high amounts of native natural regeneration including some rare red-list plant species (Thymus capitellatus).

Discarded plastic resin-collecting cups were found along with decomposing tree stumps, these indicate that this had been a maritime pine monoculture plantation that had been harvested for timber at some stage.

The autochthonous species (Quercus suber; Olea europaea var. sylvestris; Smilax aspera var. altissima; Arum italicum subsp. neglectum; Rubia peregrina subsp. longifolia; Asparagus aphyllus) present on the property act as bioindicators that suggest that this area would naturally be a Cork Oak Woodland (Aro neglecti–Quercetum suberis).

It is listed as one of the protected habitats of the Rede Natura 2000.