Environmental

Bussaco National Forest

Saturday, 04 February 2012 00:00

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The Bussaco National Forest offers many trails and sights that seem to replicate what the lands were prior to human settlement. On the trails one can see a wide range of trees and plants, fountains, and valleys. The Bussaco Forest also holds military and religious landmarks such as the Military museum, built in memorium of the Battle of Bussaco fought during the Napoleonic invasions, and the Convent of Santa Cruz. These trails vary in degree of difficulty, from easy to intermediate, and trekking footwear is recommended.

++ Visits in Buçaco

Visit 1: The Convent of Santa Cruz - In 1628 the Diocese of Coimbra donated a large piece of land to the Order of Discalced Carmelites. On the piece of land the Order constructed the Convent of Santa Cruz, which was an active monastery for two centuries, until the abolition of religious Orders in 1834. Some parts of the convent still remain from the early days, including paintings, sculptures, and tiles.

Visit 2: Convent and Gardens of the Bussaco Palace Hotel - One of the main places of interest in the Bussaco National Forest is the historic, and royal, Palace Hotel. Originally built as a hunting lodge for the last kinds of Portugal, the architecture is both romantic and representative of the nationalist culture. Additions have been made to property, including buildings, ponds, and gardens.

Visit 3: Convent and The Bussaco Woodlands - The Bussaco Woodlands is home to a wide range of plants and enormous trees. It is one of the richest natural forests in terms of natural, architectural, and cultural heritage. The area is divided into three different landscapes, including the Arboretum, the Gardens and Valley of the Ferns, and the Relict Forest. Today it is a living laboratory and an important subject of study for several Portuguese universities. Trekking footwear advised.

Visit 4: The Bussaco Woodlands - A beautiful landscape with many landmarks and natural formations. Trekking footwear advised.

The visits and walks are subject to prior booking.

Visits are provided in English, Spanish and French for groups with a minimum of 15 persons. Bookings for smaller groups are accepted subject to the payment of the fee applied for a group of 15 persons. For information and booking please call (+351) 231937004 or email: atividades@fmb.pt

 

Montalegre Wind Farm Now Open

Monday, 21 February 2011 00:00

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The Montalegre Cold Earth Wind Farm, a 126 million Euros investment, is now opened with the "capacity to provide power to the entire region of Alto Tamega," said Portugal’s Prime Minister José Sócrates.  According to Montalegre’s mayor, Fernando Rodrigues, the wind farm is comprised of 48 wind towers and will be able to supply 150,000 households per day with energy leftover.  This will reduce CO2 emissions by 117,500 tons per year and save the country an estimated seven million Euros annually on imported fossil fuels. According to the Portuguese government, this wind park exceeded the countries expectations regarding the amount of towers they had planned to have by 2011.  Currently Portugal has 206 wind farms with 2,027 wind towers, providing 5% of Europe’s wind energy.

 

First floating wind turbine in Iberia will operate off the Portuguese coast

Friday, 18 February 2011 00:00

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The Portuguese power company, EDP, is at the helm of an offshore wind project anticipated to be completed within the next six months. According to sources close to EDP, the project includes the installation of a prototype floating wind turbine to be located in waters off Aguçadoura, in the north of the country. The prototype will have a capacity of five megawatts. After its completion, five more machines will be installed during a second phase of the project. The floating technology, which has been patented under the name WindFloat, belongs to the American engineering firm Principal Power. It consists of a triangular floating structure lying flush with the surface of the sea. A submerged floating column is located under each vertex of the triangle, which will provide stability to the structure and will be anchored to the seabed. A wind turbine tower will then be erected on each of the three points, while a series of water displacement systems will be employed to help maintain its stability.

 

Biodiversity Route - By Foot or Bike

Wednesday, 09 February 2011 00:00

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The recently inaugurated Biodiversity Route in Lisbon brings the city's natural riches to its cultural and historical heritage. In 14 miles and 18 points of interest, the route connects Lisbon's waterfront to the village of Monsanto. Visitors can learn more about the biological diversity and rich heritage of the Portuguese capital, and they can do it on the seat of a bicycle or on foot, both environmentally friendly and healthy options. Apart from the Biodiversity Route, Lisbon has dozens of miles of bike routes, as well as bike parking facilities and and bike-friendly public transport options. The "bike sharing" system in neighboring London is proving to be such a success that there are already projects to increase the number of these vehicles on the road and in parking lots. In addition to contributing to the welfare of the user and the reduction of traffic in the city, the system is clean, inexpensive and also opens the way for a new form of mobile advertising. The bank that sponsored the “bike sharing” system in the British capital put advertisements on the thousands of bicycles that circulate daily, on the city officials' clothing in bicycle parking areas as well as in vans supporting the activity's development. There are already one hundred cities that have adopted the "bike sharing" system, and just next door, the authorities in Madrid are considering implementing this system as well.
 

Sustainable power to increase to 1/3 of all energy used in Portugal

Thursday, 03 February 2011 00:00

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Over the next 10 years, Portugal plans to increase renewable energy use to one third of the county¹s total energy consumption. According to the government¹s register, the percentage of renewable energy sources will rise from about 22.6% in 2011 to 31% by the year 2020. Furthermore transportation should also be shifting its energy use to renewable sources to 10% in the same year. These new goals are designed to seal Portugal's place as one of the give leading countries in Europe in the field of renewable energy. This will reduce the reliance on imports, boost exports, and increase the number of jobs in the field.
 

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