Natural World: Cork - Forest in a Bottle

Tonight, BBC 2 at 8PM
Every time we weigh up which bottle of wine to buy, we hold the fate of nightingales, rare black storks, secretive wild cats and one of the world’s most remarkable trees in our hands. It’s all to do with the stopper. If it’s cork, it probably came from the bark of one of the ancient cork oak trees from the Montados, in the Alentejo region of Portugal. The cork oak is the only tree in the world whose bark can be periodically removed without killing it. But this tree is amazing in other ways. It survives in poor soil and searing heat and provides not only nesting places for Booted Eagles but also space for some of Europe’s rarest wildflowers. This exquisitely-filmed portrait of the Montados reveals one of the last places in Europe where a sustainable local economy still dovetails harmoniously with nature. Cork producer and wildlife enthusiast, Francisco Garrett explains what will be lost if cork stoppers are replaced by plastic or screwtops.

Producer: Mike Salisbury
Assistant Producer: Paul Morrison
Series Editor: Tim Martin
Narrated by Monty Don


  1. The Montado forests are so beautiful. Our bicycling friends, Chris and Leslie Kehmeier have traveled through the forests and have shared their photos with us. Your readers may like to see the forests from their view here:
    and on their personal blog: www.bicyclegeography.org
    Team Wicanders

  2. Beautiful show! We own a bike tour company called Terracotta Journeys that offers bicycle and walking tours in Portugal and Spain. Our favorite rides will always be the Cork "Montado" forests in Alentejo. Beautiful nature and delicious foods and wines.
    Cheers! Eva Graburn and Pedro Martins

  3. Anonymous1:41 PM