Extremadura is one of the last European landscapes that is both a large working farmland environment and a magnificent place for wildlife. Part of this richness is a result of the diversity of land use. On the one hand there are big expanses of steppe-like grassland, which are intermittently sown with wheat or fodder crops. These are wonderful places for birds like bustards and sandgrouse, not to mention foxes and hares.
Then there is Extremadura's specialised form of wood pasture, known as dehesa, that is made up of carefully pruned evergreen oaks, which can stretch across the hills and valleys for mile after mile until a far horizon. It is famously grazed by the region's black pigs - source of Spain's celebrated hams - not to mention cattle and sheep. The oakwoods are an important source of firewood and shade, but the whole integrated system is also among the most wildlife-rich landscapes in all Europe. Vultures, eagles and other birds of prey are almost ubiquitous.
If this were not enough, our base at the home of Martin and Claudia Kelsey, Casa Rural el Recuerdo, is close to the huge wetland rice paddies around Madrigalejo, where the cranes come in their thousands for winter. Taken all in all, with its river valleys and flower-rich meadows, its reservoirs and mountain woods, its grasslands and vulture-harbouring crags, the place is a naturalist's dream. We will observe everything and are sure to encounter a substantial cross-section of all that Extremadura has to offer. We will look at the commonplace and the rare. We will consider how Extremadura's diverse parts fit together as a whole and, above everything, we will be steeped in the region's magnificent sense of natural abundance.
I can provide you with a more detailed breakdown of the trip so please contact me and I will send you the PDF, or answer any questions. Click here.
Prices and Arrangements
Single: £1400 Shared: £1225 Dates: Sun 18 - Sat 24 October 2020