Curone II - Petrifying springs and seminatural dry grasslands in Valle S. Croce e Valle del Curone
This project aimed to protect and conserve the steppic grassland habitats of the Valle San Croce and Valle del Curone, situated 30 km to the north of Milan. The project created a management plan for restoring semi-natural dry grasslands and petrifying springs, and engaged local stakeholders in their conservation. It elaborated a complete hydro-geological characterisation of the project area and identified 17 water abstraction points along the petrifying spring. A management programme was compiled for semi-natural dry grasslands. Specific agreements were made for the management of Festuco-brometalia and petrifying springs with three private farms with a combined surface area of nearly 30 ha. Restoration interventions on the land included the elimination of two capitation points through the demolition of old structures and consolidation of any instability. The demolition of these structures generated an increase in water flow in the river. Further interventions included the restoration of shrubs and the further use of donkeys. Naturalistic engineering interventions were undertaken to restore forestry and hydro-geological conditions. To raise awareness, the project produced on-site panels and equipped trails, as well as leaflets and a website. It also conducted educational activities with 30-40 school classes per year and organised a seminar on petrifying spring habitats.