Time to birds in the most urbanized coast of Cantabria
- The marshes are home in winter to 20,000 waterfowl
- Vidular wineries, positive experience in the Natura 2000 network
Cristina Yuste – EFEverde. When autumn is installed on the east coast of Cantabria, everything suggests that as bustling urban centers in summer and Isla, Noja and Santoña enter a kind of lethargy; Nothing is further from reality.
Because when the tourists are gone, the birds arrive, nothing less than 20,000 copies of 70 species of aquatic; behind the beautiful beaches of Ris and Trendandín and dune system that separates the marsh begins life.
A valuable wetland
This park boasts the best wetland area around the Spanish north coast of Cantabria and the only listed as Ramsar Convention wetland.
It was also the first Special Protection Area (SPA) declared in the region, and the complex and varied ecosystem that is home gave him another category within the Natura 2000 network of Site of Community Importance (SCI).
The space protected by SPAs Marshes of Santoña, Victoria and Joyel and Ria de Ajo spans the river estuary ASO two important wetlands, representative coastal oak forests, extensive dune systems and the countryside.
Felipe González, delegate of SEO / BirdLife in Cantabria, explains that “lto SPAs is essential for waterfowl, both as wintering as migratory path, acting as service area and having reinforcement where refueling and rest“.
An example of these tireless traveling and "Emblem" of the SPA is the spatula, species traveling from the Netherlands to Mauritania; “half of Europe's population passes through the marshes of Santoña in its autumn season "Says this expert.
And even when there is fewer birds in summer, given the shortage of breeding sites, "Victoria marshland has the only breeding colony of Purple Heron Peninsula", Add.
On the other hand, traditional activities are carried out in this space sustainably, as extraction hand of shellfish resources or livestock, whose patchwork of hedgerows and meadows "Constitute valuable reservoirs for waterfowl and makes mattress own wetlands", Explain.
It is a deeply humanized space, composed of eleven municipalities; "ZEPA breaks the stereotype of wild natural area says Felipe, 50,000 people live here than five times its population in summer”.
“And this makes the space be subjected to much pressure, which requires special vigilance, to protection beyond putting on roles and active management that minimizes the effect”.
Natura 2000 Network
For the delegate of SEO / BirdLife in Cantabria, the Red Natura 2000 "It is an institutional umbrella also gives renowned space and provides an opportunity for economic development in the area”.
Many of the businesses that develop here are linked to this network; "People come to enjoy the protected landscapes, fishing depends on natural processes occurring in estuaries and ecotourism is taking more boom (...) the future of this area goes definitely the conservation of its natural environment”.
Vineyards between birds
Very close to Noja, Mikel Durán and his family They run a business of wine that besides rural home stay includes a visit to the vineyards and the winery Vidular, where they produce two unique white wines, Ribera de Ason and cantabricus.
“We knew this had historically been a land of wines, although for different reasons lost tradition, "he explains; "We were initially branded crazy, it sounded like Chinese story, but we have shown that it is possible”.
Its vineyards are within the SPAs; "we believe in the Natura 2000 network, we respect that feeds us and gives us visibility into a booming sector, the tourism“.
Mikel "every time we are more doomed to different tourism and we have seen a new field in the wine; This is to take advantage of this symbiosis as a way to differentiate“.
Bodegas Vidular is one of the 28 actual cases of economic development in this network of protected areas. You can learn more about these wineries and other proposals in the publication Positive experiences in Natura 2000Edited by SEO / BirdLife.