Model wearing plain white basic tee.

Arrabacinha and Vimiero, Portugal

Land information

€ 173 per Ha per year

307 hectares

Rabea Herzog



An overgrazed landscape now being restored with a focus on biodiversity and soil health.


  • Introduction: The land is owned by Fabian Deppner and Rabea Herzog. We are a couple living and working in the area for many years. We are part of a collective of people wanting to foster ecosystem restoration and support regional development in a regenerative manner called Casa dos Sonhos.
  • Challenges: The land has been overgrazed for decades and mismanaged in terms of water and vegetation. This situation has led to soil erosion and declining biodiversity. Until now, much time and energy have been invested in giving primary care primarily to the trees through clear-cutting and pruning.
  • Opportunities: We are in the starting phase of this project. We have been observing the land for a few seasons now and understand how the water moves over the land, which is a critical factor in restoring the landscape. The objective is to retain all the rainwater within the property, avoiding runoff. We already have a herd of horses living on the land and plan to introduce more livestock. Following a rotational grazing pattern will improve soil quality, biodiversity, and carbon retention. We also have the opportunity to lay the foundations of a participatory decision-making system and organisational structure that explores new ways of living and working together.
  • Goals: Our main goal is that zero surface rainwater runs off our land at its lowest point. We want to increase biodiversity, reintroduce endemic species in flora and fauna and develop a thriving and exciting way of living.
  • Regeneration roadmap: To plan and implement the different infrastructures (swales, terraces, retention spaces, ridge ponds) for water retention and soil erosion control. This will enable the existing and newly planted vegetation to thrive again. We will also introduce more livestock we will manage following rotational grazing principles to improve soil fertility and carbon retention.

Justin Roborg-Söndergaard

Expert review

This project has the long-term commitment of its owners. Rabea and Fabian are a young couple who want to dedicate their lives to it. The land is suffering the effects of drought and past intensive farming but I believe that with a good plan and the much-needed resources change will soon happen.