Funchal Ecological Park
This park covers 1,000 hectares and rises to 1800 m above sea level. The lowest section of the park is only 520 m above sea level.
The park was conceived as an educational and conservation resource, but also to provide additional leisure space for the population and for visitors.
Because of the significant variation in altitude and the streams flowing through the park, there is a wide variety of indigenous flora. However, many areas in the park have been infested by a number of non-native species, namely eucalyptus and acacias.
A determined effort is being made to re-establish indigenous vegetation by planting trees and shrubs. Members of the Lauraceae family of trees, including tils laurel tress, Brazilian mahogany, and ironwood, all deserve special attention.
Upper areas of the park are filled with shrubs, particularly heather (urze molar) and vine supporting shrubs (uveira da serra). Between the 1550 and 1600m, the climate suits the sorbus family (sorveiras). One of Madeira’s most typical trees, the tamarisk (sorbus maderensis) is a very rare madeiran endemism.
Here too is a habitat for many birds, representing the species that nidificate in Madeira islands.
At another level, the park plays an important role in ecological education, serving as an open-air classroom for students of geomorphology, botany and zoology.
The park has 3 supporting houses, aimed at welcoming young volunteers in educational activities. A new reception centre is being built where visitors can obtain information, and where the visitor will be offered maps and publications of the Ecological Park.
The park provides an important leisure space for Funchal’s urban population and for its visitors.
The Poço da Neve (Well of Snow), which was once an ice-larder or store for blocks of ice, is another visitor attraction, for its uniqueness in the madeiran cultural heritage.
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
103, nr. 259 Estrada Regional
Ribeira das Cales - Monte
Phone: (+351) 291 784 700
Fax: (+351) 291 784 821
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