For the vision of Europe as a wilder place to succeed, with much more spaces for nature and wildlife, it is crucially important that new generations also get the opportunity to discover, feel and respect nature.
Associação Transumância e Natureza (ATN) in Portugal are along with Fundaciòn Naturaleza y Hombre in Spain responsible for the Western Iberia rewilding area, one of the 5 pilot sites of the Rewilding Europe Project. One core part of that rewilding area is the Faia Brava Reserve, which ATN owns and runs.
Over the last years, ATN has been developing one-day environmental education, at the Faia Brava Reserve, but due to the travel time to get there, only schools from the surroundings could visit Faia Brava. Now, ATN is aiming to create a new school program – “Brave at Faia” – that will allow students from across the country to visit and explore the Reserve in a deeper way: we want them to feel, hear and discover the natural world also during the night. The experience of sleeping outside, in a tented camp and exploring the reserve at night will be a unique opportunity for many youngsters.
For that, ATN recently launched a crowdfunding campaign in order to be able to buy 6 safari tents that can be used to receive school groups. Until now, the campaign has collected donations reaching almost 40% of the total amount. As one of the rewards is a complete program Brave at Faia for a group of 40 children, there were donors who supported the campaign and gave the reward to children social charity institutions.
“Brave at Faia” is the fusion of an existing need – we must teach children how wonderful nature is – and an area with a lot to offer, also after sunset.
I believe “Brave at Faia” is an opportunity to work in a long term view, by engaging the new generations on how amazing wildlife is. Discover this territory is understanding how nature is returning to itself, after years of agricultural use, and a chance to see free grazing animals like Garrano horses and Maronesa cows.