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Cork

Visit the Eden Project

When the Quercus suber tree is 25-30 years old it will do its first strip - for cork. Around 15 billion wine corks are pulled a year, and trees produce around 4000 corks per strip. Tree destroyer? Definitely not. Cork oaks, unlike most trees, regenerate their bark. This can be (skilfully) stripped off at around nine- to twelve-year intervals for up to 200 years.

Cork oak wood pastures, known as montados (Portugal) or dehesas (Spain), can also 'grow' charcoal and meat, as pigs feed beneath the trees. One speciality is jamon serrano, high-value ham, from the Iberian pig - good for rural employment. These managed montados and dehesas provide valuable habitats for many plants, birds and animals - good for the environment.

So: pull a real cork and help to save 42 species of birds, including the rare Black Vulture and the Short-toed Eagle

From http://www.edenproject.com/3473_4417.htm

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