Noudar Nature Park is located around 8 km from the town of Barrancos and was set up after EDIA’s purchase of Herdade da Coitadinha in 1997. The idea was to undertake a project to offset the loss of habitats in ecosystems, river banks and Mediterranean scrubland caused by Alqueva.

The natural treasures in the park, such as holm oak stands, justified purchasing the estate and are also the reason for its inclusion in the Natura 2000 network.

The basic principle of the project is that use and activity foster conservation of the territory. It has therefore restored farming to Herdade da Coitadinha while respecting regional practices and traditions.

Farming is important to management and is based on organic agriculture so that production can be associated with nature conservation. One of the project’s main concerns is improving and maintaining the holm oaks.

EDIA considers sustainable forest management to be a key element in running Herdade da Coitadinha, which has Forest Stewardship Council certification.

The organisation of Noudar Nature Park includes conservation of important, distinctive characteristics of its natural and cultural heritage. Intensity of use is weighed against conservation needs, which are measured by a biodiversity monitoring programme.

The natural or built heritage is interpreted with the latest communication technologies and communication techniques in combination with nature conservation and agro-forestry and tourist activities. Visitors are a click away from understanding and interpreting local characteristics. The information is transmitted in different formats: sound, videos and print.

 The concept is based on a living, dynamic space for demonstrating bio-ecological and cultural aspects of the region, showing not only works of art but also the relationship between human societies and their surroundings.

The restoration and adaptation of Monte da Coitadinha and its use as an interpretation and support centre makes it possible to offer heritage interpretation and visitor accommodation.

The project’s local and regional importance is demonstrated by the settlement of young, qualified people and the revitalisation of tourism, restaurants, trade and culture. It is a nationwide example of multifunctional use of a rural area.

EDIA’s mission is to ensure that this unique space is maintained and improved.

To learn more go to www.parquenoudar.com.

Copyright 2013. EDIA - Empresa de Desenvolvimento e Infra-estruturas do Alqueva, SA