There are more than 20 species at Palheiro; a good example of all to be found on the island. There is an especially active colony of birds of prey that feed and breed around the course. In order to promote the presence of the birds and to make it easier to observe them, feeding stations and breeding boxes have been installed around the estate. For the same reason other types of shelters and food stops have been constructed so the owls and bats can be seen when the sun goes down. So during a round of golf you will listen to a variety of song and you might be able to see some of the following birds:
Palheiro Golf has the good fortune to have been created within a unique setting. There are many exotic species of trees and shrubs in and around the course to be enjoyed during a round of golf.
The cluster of stone pines by the clubhouse is reputed to have been planted at the turn of the century. Boarding 1st and 2nd fairways you will find Macrocarpa Cypresses and the old Oak trees by the folly on the hilltop; a reminder of the Conde de Carvalhal (carvalho meaning oak) who laid out the original Palheiro estate and built the folly in about 1810. The Count's folly or 'ruin' as it is often described, has been adopted as the Palheiro Golf logo.
Dragon Tree Planting and story telling at Palheiro Estate
After the bush-fires that affected parts of Palheiro Estate in July of this year, certain surrounding areas were damaged and some beautiful pine-trees were burnt beyond recovery. Luckily the extent of the damage was much less severe than initially thought and most of the areas have now recovered back to their previous state, that being, however, one area that truly needed a new breath of life was a hillside area between the Palheiro Golf clubhouse and the Village resort. As such, some of the directors and a good friend of Palheiro Estate, Sofia Maul, came up with the idea of establishing a small dragon tree forest on this plot. The idea met with all-around approval, because the dragon tree is one of the oldest and most beautiful trees on earth, with a wealth of stories and mythology associated to it and is also one of the most iconic species of Madeiran flora.
As a frequent visitor to Palheiro, I have always been fascinated by the numerous ponds. Starting with big one on top above the gardens' car park lies the golf reservoir completed in 1993. I'm told that it holds some 220,000 m.3 of water and when full, allows the course to be watered daily during the hot summer months.