In permaculture, the concept of zoning or sectors is fundamental. Zoning may vary according to the needs of each person or project.

As a rule, Zone 5 is a more wild area, with its main characteristic being ecological conservation and regeneration; in this zone, little or no intervention is made. It is a good observation and learning zone for how the ecosystem functions on its own.

In the context of forest management, Zone 5 is left to grow, fulfilling several functions of stability and ecological diversity, as well as maximizing rainwater infiltration in forested high zones.

Zone 5 is increasingly seen as a potential ally for activities such as hunting, forestry, tourism, pedagogy, and ecological restoration.

As a rule, in the context of a regenerative project, Zone 5 is seen as a mandatory matrix/pattern on each property, but adapted to the current context and circumstances.

1- Ridges, capturing water with forests: They are ecological safeguard zones, with afforestation using species of different strata, such as (among many others): Acer spp.; Arbutus unedo; Betula spp.; Craetagus monogyna; Erica spp; Juniperus oxycedrus; Lonicera implexa; Myrtus communis; Pinus pinea; Pistacia lentiscus; Pyrus pyraster; Quercus coccifera; Quercus faginea; Quercus lusitanica; Quercus suber; Thymus spp;

This ridge forest increases resilience in the face of natural disasters, while ensuring landscape hydration. This is the water-fixing forest, as it becomes a real sponge for rainwater over time. Here, rainwater infiltrates, soils are hydrated, and aquifers are recharged. Another equally important characteristic of this zone is the fact that in Portugal, these forests considerably increase local precipitation through the capture of Northwest and Southwest fog, also known as orographic rain.

2- Streams and primary basins, holding water: Whether permanent or seasonal, the riparian galleries are reforested, restoring ecological functions and serving as ecological corridors for local biodiversity.

Once Zones 5 and riparian galleries are established, they become authentic corridors of life, considerably increasing humidity in the area. Among many others, here are some of the species, of different strata, to be introduced in waterways and primary watersheds: Populus spp.; Salix spp.; Alnus glutinosa; Fraxinus angustifolia; Tamarix africana; Sambucus nigra; Ulmus spp.; Laurus nobilis;

In these streams, the implementation of temporary ponds should be planned, sequenced valley after valley, and aligned contour whenever possible.

3- Permanent green corridors, network regeneration: Having ecological safeguard zones is of little or no use if they are not connected/communicating with each other: It is essential to interconnect the different elements of Zone 5 in a network to maximize their functions.

Green corridors are permanent forest strips that connect valley after valley, riparian zones. They must have a minimum width of 15m and be arranged in contour/level curve. These strips also have important functions in the context of human activities, such as windbreaks, fire retardant, erosion protection, avalanche/slide/flood protection, among many others.

Within this permanent “matrix,” we then integrate the essential human activities of rural populations, namely forest management, through mixed mosaics articulated in space and time, all based on a landscape hydration framework.