The rugged Mediterranean landscape has been shaped by man over many thousands of years, cleared for crops such as olives and vines.

Today, ancient terraced olive groves actually support more animal species than a pine forest, including insects, reptiles, birds, bats and the like.

Over the years, many left this land for work on the coast. Some are now returning. Supporting local people through farm holidays and buying their local produce can help look after these environments and communities.

Did you know?

  • Cultivated around the Mediterranean for 5,500 years, olive trees can survive in arid conditions for an incredibly long time (some examples are 2,000 years old).
  • The French underground movement in World War Two was called the Maquis because its members hid in the hilly landscape of prickly oak, juniper and broom of the same name. This habitat, which we’ve recreated in the Biome near the bell tower, contains unique plants, insects and reptiles.

Footer