Nestled inside a Natura 2000 site in the Barrocal region of the Algarve with 360 degree views of unspoilt landscape, Wild View Retreat is a rehabilitated village that offers accommodation for 24-30 people. It was a joy to hear how the client, Andrew Finlay who worked in environmental conservation for many years, wanted to develop the site without ‘manicuring’ it. The challenge then for this 8 ha site was to highlight the wild aspect while finding ways for guests to immerse and include themselves in it’s landscape.
I provided a consultation brief that aided in its renovation and will serve in the future as a guide for it’s ongoing development. Applying sustainable practice principles, the consultation specified indigenous plant choices, fire preventative measures and water conservation strategies. Three areas were earmarked for specific development including two specimen gardens and an orchard where detailed fruit tree choices, soil requirements, composting and irrigation strategies were provided. Particularly important was designing with limited maintenance in mind, fortunately this goes hand in glove with the sustainable approach.
The overall site was mapped with regards to inviting the guests into the natural landscape and without this disrupting or interfering with its inherent beauty. Paths and clearings followed the natural lines established by wild boars and in careful relation to the mature tree species, mostly cork oak which have preservation orders on them. On the buildings climbing plants were specified to disguise the clean lines of the more modern buildings. While features such as dry stone walls and irrigation falaj’s were specified which compliment the nearby stone ruins and highlight the ageless rugged aspect of this wonderful local.
To discover more about this amazing place, go to wildviewretreat.com