The Project

“Adopt an Olive Tree” is a project of education and protection towards the territory, landscape and biodiversity of the Selva di Castelfidardo that is enacted through the possibility for the whole community to become active participants in the fight against the effects of urbanization.

Let’s protect the territory of the “Selva of Castelfidardo”


We have been protecting the Selva from urbanization for more than 20 years to ensure respect for diverse ecosystems.

Organic farming

The organically managed olive grove creates a protective strip between the forested environment of the Selva and the man-made areas surrounding it.

Wild Fauna

The animals of the Selva have ensure conditions for the maintenance of their natural habitat.

How the project was born

The project stems from the desire to expand the olive grove adjacent to the Selva di Castelfidardo as an indispensable resource for its protection. To this end, in 2021, planting was carried out by selecting exclusively native varieties of olive trees at risk of extinction (Mignola, Raggia, Piantone di Mogliano), which expanded the olive grove created by Duke Roberto Ferretti in the 1950s.

To protect the biodiversity and naturalness of the area, in 2008 the Foundation designed landscape and eco-sustainable agriculture through the maintenance of hedges and native wild vegetation. This project is part of the R.E.M. (Marchigiana Ecological Network) and contributes to creating ecological corridors by fostering and expanding the natural habitat for wildlife between the Selva forest and the certified organic olive grove.

Why an olive grove to protect the Selva?

Choosing to plant an olive grove cultivated according to the principles of landscape agriculture and certified organic farming close to the Selva di Castelfidardo is a guarantee of protection for both the rural landscape of the Marche and the biodiversity of the forest.

The olive grove in the Selva di Castelfidardo is cultivated by leaving the land untilled to encourage the growth of wild grasses and flowers. There are also areas on the land that houses the olive grove that are designated as hedgerows and brambles that provide a natural shelter for wildlife.

Through this type of approach, it is possible to protect the soil from erosion and runoff and create optimal conditions for the life of the wildlife present in the Selva.

How to give support to the conservation of ecological niches?

The proximity of the olive grove to the Selva encourages the extension of the protection zone for local fauna (mammals, avifauna, amphibians, reptiles and pollinating insects). Hedges and uncultivated areas provide shelter for these species that find, in this way, favorable conditions to reproduce and live without having to move to population centers.

The olive groves cultivated in this way represent true “ecological corridors” for wildlife that travel through them from the Musone River, which is only a few hundred meters away from the Selva, to the Apennines.

What is its environmental impact?

Planting an olive grove during a climate crisis means making a difference. It is estimated that one hectare of organically managed olive grove manages to absorb 15.5 tons of CO2 in a year*, unlike a traditional cropping system that stores only 10 tons.

The olive tree, grown according to organic farming principles, is also a plant with a low water footprint, which tolerates water stress and manages its resources effectively.


*The figure is estimated based on data provided by the article: Palese, Assunta & Pergola, Maria & Celano, Giuseppe & Xiloyannis, Cristos. (2013). The sustainable olive grove for CO2 sequestration. AGRARIAN INFORMANT. 44-46.

… and not least its social impact

The management of the organically managed olive grove is carried out by Selva Cooperativa Sociale. The workers of the cooperative are committed to popularizing and promoting in the area forms of cultivation with low environmental impact by retracing the history of the bond between man and agriculture.

The territory of the olive grove, moreover, is freely frequented in every season by the whole community for walks and sports training, by schoolchildren and tourists who participate in environmental education activities and guided tours offered by the regional C.E.A. Selva of Castelfidardo.