Mafra emerges from the flames

news: Mafra emerges from the flames

Following the wave of fires in September 2003, which caused inestimable damage to plants and wildlife at Mafra National Park, a major project was embarked upon to restore the park to its former glory.

The scheme involved renovating all damaged woodland, vegetation and buildings, introducing species of plants and trees that are more resistant to fire, overhauling the infrastructures, implementing fire prevention systems, and much more. The total project, which is due for completion this October, has cost 1.5 million euros and was made possible by funding from the European Union, AGRO (operational and agricultural programme of rural development) and AGRIS (Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry), as well as various commercial sponsors, including supermarket giant Jumbo (Auchan) and Crédito Agrícola bank, among others.

The park was created at the request of the reigning monarch, João V. Famous in history for the construction of the Convento de Mafra national monument in 1717, King João commissioned the park so he could hunt and enjoy walks. In recent times, the park has been open to the public and is now managed by a public entity. It has also become well-known for its environmental value. Unfortunately, following last year’s devastating fires, the park had to be closed to the public and was not re-opened until March this year. That closure, however, allowed the major part of the restoration work to be completed so that visitors could once again enjoy its beauty.