Distance from Nuoro: 70 km
Topic: Grazed oak woodland and wood grasslands in Sardinia. The “Bue Rosso” beef cattle system
Keywords: beef cattle, multi-paddock grazing system, ecosystem services, biodiversity, agri-tourism
The farm Elighes Uttiosos belongs to the Montiferru territory in the Central-Western Sardinia. In Sardinian language it means “dripping oaks” because of a near freshwater spring source of water gushing out from the roots of a secular oak tree. Montiferru represents an exception of the current beef cattle production systems relying on Sardinian silvopastoral systems where most calves are sold to feedlots at weaning, thus losing the “memory” of the first 6-8 months of life in the wood grasslands with the sucklers. In the Montiferru, in fact, the whole beef cattle food chain, based on a Mediterranean rustic breed (“Bue Rosso” beef cattle which is the local Sardo-Modicana breed), relies on mountain silvopastures.
The Elighes Uttiosos farm is characterized by a transhumant grazing system from about 500 m a.s.l. in winter-spring to up 950 m a.sl. in summer-autumn, with beef cattle as main livestock but also dairy goats and some pigs and horses. Dairy goats rearing is supporting the typical local cheese production (Casizolu) that, together with the Bue rosso meat, is associated to the most important marketing opportunities of the farm. The farm has agri-camping facilities with a very nice dining area where the participants will enjoy the lunch with typical traditional dishes. The view from the highest area of the farm is beautiful, being characterized by a descending route toward the sea (Santa Caterina di Pittinuri) immersed in holm oak woods and grasslands.
The Elighes Uttiosos farm is the Italian demonstration site of the LIFE Regenerate project (https://regenerate.eu/en/) whose main objective is to demonstrate that Mediterranean silvopastoral farms can become self-sufficient and profitable based on resource efficiency principles and incorporating added value products such as recycled wastes and truffles. Participants will visit the demonstration trials where the adaptive multi-paddock grazing system is being implemented since the last three years and, exchange research experiences with the project team on the impacts of this system on the provisioning of a variety of ecosystem services such as forage production and quality, soil carbon sequestration, and their relationship with some bioindicators (e.g., plant and beetle diversity).
8:30 Departure from Nuoro to Santu Lussurgiu
10:00 Guided visit to the Elighes Uttiosos farm – Santu Lussurgiu
13:00 Lunch at the agri-tourism in the Elighes Uttiosos farm with typical traditional dishes
15:30 Departure from Santu Lussurgiu to Nuoro
Distance from Nuoro: 60 km / 50’ drive
Topic: Grazed oak woodland in Sardinia: the Monte Sant’Antonio Forest’s agroforestry system
Keywords: ecosystem services, beef livestock system, biodiversity safeguarding, forest management certification
The Experimental Farm of Agris Sardegna “Monte S. Antonio” is located in the wood of Monte Sant’Antonio (880 m asl, Macomer), in the North-West of Sardinia (lat 39 ° N, along 9 ° E), at 670 m asl.
It has been grazed by cows for 40 years and actually also by sheep of the native Sardinian breed “Nera di Arbus”.
The experimental farm is home to several scientific research projects including the recent IGRAL project – Innovative beef
cattle Grazing systems for the restoration of Abandoned Lands in the Alpine and Mediterranean mountains, and is about to obtain the Certification of Forest Management and Ecosystem Services according to the principles of the F.S.C. (Forest Stewardship Council, https://it.fsc.org/it-it).
The wooded area is dominated by a Mediterranean wood, mainly downy oak (Quercus pubescens L.) for 55%, and for 24% by Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn while its glades are composed of rock (4%), one small temporary pond and herbaceous cover.
On the other hand, south-eastern part of the area is made up of herbaceous pasture, improved for grazing sheep and cattle.
During the field trip the “Nera di Arbus” sheep and the factories will be shown and then an easy hike in the farm, along a dirty road and a path through fields and the forest, will allow you to observe the environmental resources, learn about the IGRAL project and the management of grazing in the woods.
09:00 Departure from Nuoro to Monte Sant’Antonio, Macomer
10:00 Guided visit to Experimental Farm of Agris Sardegna “Monte S. Antonio
Stage 1. Visit to the sheepfolds, the milking parlor and the farm center to see the Black Arbus sheep breed
Stage 2. Illustration of the IGRAL project
Stage 3. Explanation on Forest Certification, the zootechnical management of cattle, the presence of habitats protected by the European community. Identification of species of botanical and conservation interest.
13:00 Closing of the tour
Distance from Nuoro: 100 km
Topic: The Arborea area in the west Sardinia
Keywords: Eucaliptus windbreaks, Forested Infiltration Areas
The study tour will take visitors to different places of the Arborea plain in the west part of Sardinia: the land reclamation area, the Eucaliptus windbreaks, the coastal pine tree wood.
During the tour, it will be possible to visit facilities such as, local cooperatives managing the rural area and ecosystem services provided by the Eucaliptus windbreaks.
Many research projects on pollution and circular economy have been conducted in this area as well as many collaborations between the University of Sassari and the irrigation and mountain districts in the province of Oristano.
During the tour, it will be possible to visit the Peninsula of Sinis and its archeological site of Tharros.
On the way to or from Arborea, it will be possible to visit the Nuraghe Losa at Abbasanta.
8:30 Departure from Nuoro
9:30 Visit to the forestry nursery at Massama
11:30 Visit to the dewatering pumping station of Sassu and introduction to the Arborea reclamation area, tour of the wetlands and the coastal pine wood
15:00 Visit to the Forested Infiltration Area (dewatering pumping station of Luri)
17:00 Visit to an agrozootechnical company of Arborea and discussion on the role of the Eucaliptus hedgerows
18:30 Departure to Nuoro
Distance from Nuoro: 120 km
Topic: Cork oak silvopastoral system in Sardinia.
Keywords: cork oak, dairy sheep, silvopastoral system, innovations
Silvopastoral systems are the main agroforestry systems in the Mediterranean that strongly contribute to supporting local economies, providing both plant and animal products. Furthermore, their role in providing a wide range of ecosystem services is well recognized. Today there is a strong demand from farmers for an integrated system of good agroforestry practices that guarantees the sustainability of production, the transfer of innovation and the increase in profitability for the territories/actors involved. The ENI CBC LIVINGAGRO Project (http://www.enicbcmed.eu/projects/livingagro) is addressing these issues using an Open Innovation approach, based on the establishment of a Living Laboratory on silvopastoral systems that allows the co-creation of economic and social values and the interactions between supply and demand, eliminating geographical and cultural barriers. As part of the Project’s “Field trials”, a demonstration test was set up at Farm Mu in Monti (a cork oak farm in the Gallura region, north east of Sardinia) for one of the innovations selected by the Living Lab: the introduction of mixtures of legumes to improve the productivity and quality of the forage resource, under a cork oak / dairy sheep silvopastoral system. This visit will offer participants the opportunity to get in touch with farmers’ requests for good agroforestry practices and to learn about the need for innovation that comes from them. Specifically, the experimental plots will be visited and the preliminary results of the ongoing experimentation activity will be described.
8:30 Departure from Nuoro to Monti
10:00 Guided visit to the Farm Mu
13:00 Lunch in agri-tourism with typical traditional dishes
15:30 Departure from Monti to Nuoro
17:00 Optional visit to the Su Romanzesu silvopastoral and archaeological site (Bitti)
20:00 Arrival to Nuoro