Carrasqueira, Alcacer do Sal, Portugal
Carrasqueira, Portugal is positioned within the Sado Nature Reserve located on the banks of the Sado estuary. A large proportion of the Reserve is agricultural land which is owned by HdC (Herdade da Comporta) which many believe took its roots from the House of Espirit do Santo whom after the revolution in 1836 were granted the land rights for many thousands of acres.
The agricultural land in Carrasqueira and estuary were always worked by migrant labour who over the years settled the land, living within the traditional organic “Fishermen” Cabanas which can still be seen today. In fact over recent years these homes in many instances have been restored and those which are still in a state of disrepair are now protected.
The migrant workers during the periods between the 1940’s and the 1970’s, numbered in the many thousands, and it wasn’t until the advent of the mechanical farm that these numbers would reduce significantly. Today in Carrasqueira, there are still a number of local inhabitants whom till the land they lease from HdC and many a small fishing boat can still be seen casting their nets over the Sado and out into the Atlantic Ocean as can be witnessed from the shores of Praia da Comporta.
Due to the recent developments along the Troia Peninsula coastline associated with tourism many of the younger villagers have given up their parents professions and have taken to working within the tourist sector. This has meant a rise in disposable income which is reflected in the small amount of new construction that Carrasqueira is now seeing and the rise in Portugal property prices.
Many of the properties that are for sale in Carrasqueira are still located on land owned by HdC, and can only be bought with their permission. A small rental fee is paid to HdC each year for the land that the property occupies and in many instances it is possible to lease even more land for private use.