LOMELLINA - Conservation of Alder woods in Lomellina area's SIC, Italy
The project aimed to halt the degradation of the alder woods and safeguard the presence of the heron in the west of the Padana plain in Pavia province in Italy. The project achieved the extension of reforested area, creation of wet areas, restoration of hydrological systems and extension of flooded area. Two types of conservation intervention were employed and a great number of suitable habitats were created. Reforestation was also carried out in plots were the wooden vegetation showed signs of regression. The project also focused on acquiring accurate information about the area. Recorded data on variations of subterraneous water levels through the study period were very accurate and allowed the comparison of water tables by geological location, season, irrigation and land use of the surrounding areas. Additionally, field surveys were carried out in order to classify the botanical value of the area and to explore differences between woodlands managed with different criteria. The project also created a series of footpaths and ten observatories in five SPAs. Several information and dissemination initiatives were carried out among schools, teachers and the general public. A documentary on the garzaie in three languages (Italian, French and English) was also produced.