The Garden Landscape Guide

Parque Biológico de Gaia

The park opened in 1983 with the aim of educating visitors about the landscape of the region. Its 35 hectares comprises a collection of old farms. The park has elements of a botanical garden, zoo and nature reserve. Parque Biológico de Gaia also manages the Parque Municipal da Lavandeira, Parque de Dunas da Aguda (a sand dune park established in 1997) and Refúgio Ornitológico do Estuário do rio Douro (a bird refuge with kingfishers, cormorants, grey herons, white herons, squacco herons, common sandpipers, ruddy turnstones, grey plovers and red knots).

History

Thirty five hectares of former farmland developed into a park by Vila Nova de Gaia Municipal Council in 1983. The Biological Park is a permanent centre for environmental education, and a small urban nature reserve. Old rural houses were restored to house the Park's facilities. Forest, shrubs and hedges have been recovered and hundreds of new trees and other autochthonous vegetation have been planted. The small river that crosses the Park has been cleaned up to get rid of pollution and some artificial lakes for waterfowl were created. Near the river, an old water-mill was reconstructed, and converted into a museum to show to visitors the maize cycle and the agricultural traditions of the region. A programme for rehabilitation of injured/orphaned wild animals was set up. Animals that can't be rehabilitated are cared for in big and naturalized cages and may be seen by visitors through discreet hides. Nest-boxes for little birds and owls, bird tables, little ponds for amphibians, meadow areas encourage wildlife. Now the Park has a very rich biodiversity with more than 1000 wild species of animals and plants, some of them of priority conservation.

Avintes, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

All year. Daily.

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Parque Biológico de Gaia , Portugal Photograph © Parque Biológico de Gaia
Parque Biológico de Gaia Photograph © Parque Biológico de Gaia
Biological Park of Gaia Photograph © Parque Biológico de Gaia
Parque Biológico de Gaia, Avintes Photograph © Parque Biológico de Gaia
Motorhomes, Parque Biológico de Gaia Photograph © Parque Biológico de Gaia