THE SYSTEM OF PROTECTED MICROAREAS CREATED
BY THE ASSOCIATION "TERRA, BOSCHI, GENTE E MEMORIE"
IN THE TERRITORY NORTH-EAST OF ASTI
PROTECTED MICROAREAS
In 1997 the "Terra, Boschi, Gente e Memorie" Association ('Land, Woods, People and Memories') decided to focus mainly on the creation, within the local territory, of an integrated system of protected micro-areas, a mosaic of environments and biotopes of high natural value.
To date this system comprises eight wholly protected sites, selected within the territory in which the Association is interested for their highly valuable natural environments. In the next few years the Association is planning to add at least another four sites, thereby ensuring the conservation of a significant sample of the natural ecological systems characteristic of the area north-east of Asti.

Of the eight areas protected thanks to the intervention of "Terra, Boschi, Gente e Memorie", four are managed directly (and at no cost) by the Association itself. The activities carried out there include the protection and conservation of the biotopes, the elimination of exotic and invasive species of plants, the re-introduction of native plants characteristic of the various environments, research (census of flora, analysis of vegetation, investigations into fauna, study of biocenosis, etc.), the study of ecologically compatible didactic and cultural activities in the areas and the inclusion of the sites in the local network of ecological itineraries.

To date these areas are the only part (small though it is) of territory north-east of Asti enjoying complete natural protection, exclusively thanks to the intervention of the Association,.

The system of protected micro-areas includes the following specific elements:


XEROTHERMIC AREA DENOMINATED 'SAVATTA'

LOCATION: Pino d'Asti (ASTI), Olivasso-Savatta region
SURFACE AREA: About 3,000 square metres
OWNER: Municipality of Pino d'Asti
MANAGEMENT: "Terra, Boschi, Gente e Memorie" Association
OUTLINE OF THE BIOTOPE:
This dry area rich in Graminae is of high natural importance and is situated along the ridge of the hill flanking the Muscandia valley; it is host to rare thermoxerophilous vegetation including native herbaceous species which are distinctively uncommon in the territory around Asti (in particular Crucifers, Leguminae, plants of the spurge family, the parsley family and the madder family, Labiates, plants of the figwort family and the globularia family, Broomrapes, Composites, Lilies, Graminae and Sedges).


MIXED HIGH FOREST DENOMINATED 'ASTORRE'

LOCATION: Castelnuovo Don Bosco (ASTI), outlying ward of Mondonio S.D.S.,
Astorre region
SURFACE AREA: about 7,000 square metres
OWNER: Municipality of Castelnuovo Don Bosco
MANAGEMENT: "Terra, Boschi, Gente e Memorie" Association
OUTLINE OF THE BIOTOPE:
Mixed all-aged high wood of native deciduous broad-leaved trees, among which the most significant are the cerris (Quercus cerris), the English oak (Quercus robur), the European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), the small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata), the hedge maple (Acer campestre), the European chestnut (Castanea sativa), the wild cherry (Prunus avium), the wild service tree (Sorbus torminalis), the European aspen (Populus tremula) and the Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris). Alongside the tree species this forest environment is host to a varied undergrowth which includes several shrubby and herbaceous Angiospermae, horsetails, musk, mushrooms and lichens.


VALPINZOLO WOOD

LOCATION: Castelnuovo Don Bosco (ASTI), outlying ward of Mondonio S.D.S.,
Valpinzolo region
SURFACE AREA: About 10,000 square metres
OWNER: Privately owned
MANAGEMENT: Privately managed with the co-operation of the "Terra, Boschi, Gente e Memorie" Association
OUTLINE OF THE BIOTOPE:
Semi-natural relict wood, mainly comprising English oaks (Quercus robus), European hornbeams (Carpinus betulus), wild cherries (Prunus avium), common maples (Acer campestre) and small-leaved limes (Tilia cordata). Of great interest is the presence in the undergrowth of rare nemoral herbaceous species (lilies, orchids).

WOOD OF OAKS AND HORNBEAMS OF VOTA GRANDA

LOCATION: Passerano-Marmorito (ASTI), Vota Granda region
SURFACE AREA: About 6,000 square metres
OWNER: "Terra, Boschi, Gente e Memorie" Association
MANAGEMENT: "Terra, Boschi, Gente e Memorie" Association
OUTLINE OF THE BIOTOPE:
Forest which alternates high woods and coppice forest and in which the most common tree species are represented by the European chestnut (Castanea sativa), the English oak (Quercus robur), the durmast oak (Quercus petraea), the European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), the hedge maple (Acer campestre), the wild cherry (Prunus avium) and the wild service tree (Sorbus torminalis). Such high grade trees, which in some instances reach majestic heights, are complemented by an extremely diversified undergrowth comprising many herbaceous Spermatophyta and Pteridophytes, as well as several types of musk, mushrooms and lichens.

WOOD OF SMALL-LEAVED LIMES DENOMINATED 'VALLONI'

LOCATION: Passerano-Marmorito (ASTI), Valloni region
SURFACE AREA: About 10,000 square metres
OWNER: Municipality of Passerano-Marmorito
MANAGEMENT: Municipality of Passerano-Marmorito
OUTLINE OF THE BIOTOPE:
Forest of native broadleaved trees, among which a major role is played by the small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata), with hundreds of specimen. Other trees include the English oak (Quercus robur), the European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), the hedge maple (Acer campestre), the European chestnut (Castanea sativa), the wild cherry (Prunus avium), the European aspen (Populus tremula), the wild service tree (Sorbus torminalis) and the European alder (Alnus glutinosa). The undergrowth is also very rich and diversified and it comprises a great variety of shrubby and herbaceous Angiospermae, Pteridophytes, Bryophyta and Tallophyta.

"EMILIO'S WOOD'

LOCATION: Passerano-Marmorito outlying ward of Primeglio (ASTI),
Tabiori region
SURFACE AREA: About 20,000 square metres
OWNER: Privately owned
MANAGEMENT: Privately managed with the co-operation of the "Terra, Boschi, Gente e Memorie" Association
OUTLINE OF THE BIOTOPE:
Natural wood characterised, from the point of view of conservation, by an area near the top of the hill covered by about twenty fully grown European turkey oaks (Quercus cerris) as well as the presence of hundreds of European chestnuts (Castanea sativa) spread all over the middle of the hillside, some of which of massive proportions and yet untouched by cortical cancer.



MUSCANDIA'S WOOD

LOCATION: Pino d'Asti (ASTI), Muscandia region
SURFACE AREA: 10.600 square metres
OWNER: Privately owned
MANAGEMENT: "Terra, Boschi, Gente e Memorie" Association
OUTLINE OF THE BIOTOPE:
This is a forest situated on the escarpment of the hill which runs along the western side of the Muscandia valley; the western part of the wood coincides with the hill's ridge whereas the eastern part runs along the bottom of the valley where a stretch of the Rio Muscandia runs. The wood is noticeable for an area near the hillside covered with several great specimen of flowering ash (Fraxinus ornus) and downy oak (Quercus pubescens), for the conservation of residual areas of English oaks (Quercus robur) and European hornbeams (Carpinus betulus) and, interestingly, for numerous small-leaved limes (Tilia cordata) and sycamores (Acer pseudoplatanus) which occupy the middle part of the hillside, as well as a wide area of hygrophilous wood made up predominantly of European alders (Alnus glutinosa) and white willow (Salix alba), all alongside the stream.


SEMI-NATURAL GRASSLAND DENOMINATED "CASCINA RO"

LOCATION: Albugnano (ASTI), Cascina Ro region
SURFACE AREA: About 20,000
OWNER: Privately owned
MANAGEMENT: "Monastero del Rul" Association with the co-operation of the "Terra, Boschi, Gente e Memorie" Association
OUTLINE OF THE BIOTOPE:
Highly natural grassland situated along the sides of the hill running downhill from Albugnano towards Berzano S. Pietro. They comprise peculiar associations of vegetation of native thermoxerophile (including rare species among the Leguminae, plants from the parsley family, Labiates, plants from the figwort family, Composites, lilies and Graminae).

 

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