Case study: Renaturation of Can Poc Oli - Agricultural School of Manresa Demonstration Farm

Photo acknowledgement: Agricultural School of Manresa 

Renaturation of Can Poc Oli – Agricultural School of Manresa Demonstration Farm

The Renaturation of Can Poc Oli project, spearheaded by Manresa City Council in collaboration with educational institutions like the Escola Agraria de Manresa, marks a pioneering initiative in Spain aimed at restoring biodiversity in the municipal farm. The project draws inspiration from the European rewilding trend, advocating for minimal human intervention to allow ecosystems to flourish naturally. Its primary goal is to counteract biodiversity loss, bolster existing species populations, and foster collaboration with local organisations. 

Located on approximately 5 hectares of land at the intersection of the Rajadell stream and the Cardener river, the project is centred at Can Poc Oli, a municipal farm where measures are proposed to restore the natural ecosystem. These include the demolition of an old nightclub and its adjacent car park, as well as the reintroduction of lost processes like herbivory through local livestock grazing. 

Objective

The objectives of the Can Poc Oli project are to:  

  • Reverse biodiversity loss
    and increase animal and plant species.
     
  • Reclaim and improve a highly degraded site with significant potential. 

  • Establish the site as a research laboratory for renaturation studies. 
  • Maximize the educational value of the process for both the Agricultural School and high schools in the city of Manresa. 

Approach

Can Poc Oli serves as a farm for the Agricultural School of Manresa, a designation granted by the City Council since the 1980s. Encompassing approximately 5 hectares, the farm is primarily utilised for various types of crop cultivation, including extensive, orchard, vineyard, and greenhouse farming. Additionally, it houses classrooms, workshops, storage facilities, and offices. 

The farm’s production adheres to organic standards and is certified by the Catalan Council for Organic Agricultural Production (CCPAE). It aims to balance its training, experimental, and informative functions, providing students enrolled in the VET Cycle of Agroecological Production and other programs with hands-on fieldwork and practical experience. 

Can Poc Oli features various renewable energy systems, including solar, photovoltaic, thermal, and wind energy, as well as infrastructure such as solar dryers and thermal inertia walls. Visitors can undertake two informative tours to learn about renewable energies and agroecology through interactive panels and totems scattered across the farm. 

This project stands out in the realm of vocational education and training (VET) for its collaborative approach involving multiple stakeholders committed to enhancing soil health, biodiversity, water management, and more, all within an emancipatory and ecological framework. 

Link for further information

(in Spanish)

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