In the summer of 2005 Bespoke Villas acquired 40,000 meters of remote and heavily overgrown land high up in the mountains above Ponta do Sol, it was once a productive walnut plantation. We had started our construction business in 2001 and until then we had only built on prime construction land. Company owners Nelio Mendes and Gregorio Salazar love Madeira and its unique biodiversity, they wanted to put something back into nature and in 2005 our conservation project was born.
Initially the land was cleared of the dense and invasive eucalyptus trees, this was made easier by the availability of our own excavation equipment. Over the course of 12 months the land was completely cleared down to the soil. The following year in 2006 the land was once again planted with native walnut trees, apple trees and pears, then over the following years many different species of plants were carefully reintroduced or planted, the land was also gently terraced.
By the summer of 2009 we had been experiencing some good success in our construction business, this was mainly from our foreign clients, we decided it was time to start sharing the conservation project with these clients. In the summer of 2009, we started inviting our clients to the remote and now beautiful area of the project. The young walnut trees had just started to give the first tiny harvest and the flowers were out, it was quite a special time. The first clients to visit the land thought it was a beautiful and special place, later that year the same clients returned to plant trees.
Since early 2010, we started inviting our property clients up to the conservation project to plant trees, as we had built properties for the clients, they too could also feel the desire to plant some trees and put something back into Madeira. As the nature reserve became more established the original biodiversity that was robbed by the eucalyptus trees started to return. The conservation project took on a new look with the addition of a small nature pond.
Today our conservation project is a healthy example of a construction company and our clients putting something back into nature. When we now visit with our clients, we hear a rich diversity of nature in birds and insects, we have a large wild honeybee population making a constant drone and there are also now fish swimming in the nature pond. We have recently purchased a further 40,000 meters of adjoining land to extend the project with nature trails and seating areas.
In Madeira our conservation project is unique, we are the only construction company in Madeira to undertake such a project. During the next 10 years we would like to see further changes in the recreational use and enjoyment of the project with a BBQ area, toilets and a small cabin with a birdwatching hide. Madeira has a unique natural environment and we would want to help protect and enjoy this beautiful island in our own little way.