Located below the old hill town of Castellar de la Frontera, La Almoraima, traditionally known as the Cork Woods, is a large 16,000 hectare estate, that has to date, escaped the ravages of development which have overcome many lowland areas. Traditional industries, such as the collection of the bark of the Cork Oak and hunting continue here.
Today the Almoramia is state run and parts of it are easily accessible to members of the public. The area abounds with woodland birds at all times of the year, but the best time is undoubtedly spring, when residents and summer visitors are most active and there is also the possibility of finding a few migrants.
As well as the large number and variety of birds to see and hear there are plenty of interesting wildflowers to be found here too, including a number of orchid species: Sawfly, Woodcock, Bee and Bumble Orchids occur as do specimens of the Tongue Orchids.
In turn the flowers attract insects, including butterflies and amongst those to be found here in the spring are Spanish Festoon, Moroccan Orange Tip, Wall Brown, Speckled Wood, Clouded Yellow, Fritillaries, Skippers and various Whites.
Deer roam the forest and are often seen, albeit briefly and one early morning, arriving early to meet for a trip, we encountered a fox.