Alcornoques

Workshop in the Sierra de Grazalema: the Centuries Old Craft of Cork Extraction

The Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, is the green heart of Andalucia and a spectacular setting to enjoy nature at its purest form, but it also hides inside of it ancient arts that have been nurtured by local families for centuries. One of these arts is extracting cork, which takes place here every summer in this rare and special place.

Uncorking work involves extracting the cork oak, a tree that this area is known as the chaparral. Its unique features provide plenty of uses for anyone who has found its synthetic match to be unsatisfactory. That is why the Park has scheduled a workshop for tourists and others eager to learn the ins and outs of this craft.

The next workshop will be held on August 10th, at 10:00am and will be held in the Cortes de la Frontera Visitor’s Centre during which guests of all ages can come to appreciate the craft through demonstrations using the natural, organic product – contributing to the conservation and protection of traditional wealth of the region.

For four hours, attendees will receive a guided tour of the centre where they will get to know the park thoroughly while a skilled craftsman will help them make objects made from cork, while delving into the history and techniques of this ancient craft.

The activity will end at 14:00, a perfect time to enjoy some tapas in one of the towns in the local Route of White Villages or visit the natural beach of the mountain, the Zahara de la Sierra. A unique and natural alternative for the weekend!

The Use of Cork

The bark of the tree – the cork itself – is the material it prodcues against the cold or extreme heat

as well as all other external threats. One can extract this bark every nine years, allowing enough time for adequate regeneration. During the summer months, corkscrews are used for removing the bark because it is easier to do without damaging the tree. The truth is that after removal of the cork, the tree is more vulnerable to any external agent. However, far from becoming a curse for these local forests, uncorking has been introduced and implemented as a means of conservation for the cork oak forests, protecting them for centuries from being taken down as firewood.

The main use of cork today comes from the wine industry as a stopper for bottles of wine, but in this workshop Grazalema Natural Park it will be possible to observe how many uses it has in the craftsmanship of the area.

Don’t think twice – do something different in the Sierra de Grazalema?

For more information call (34) 902 525 100 or send an email to infonatura@agenciamedioambienteyagua.es

Cost of workshop: 2 euros

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