Nature gathers especial importance in Aljarafe-Doñana, provided by an unique natural wealth in the province for three main reasons: the inclusion of large part of it in Doñana Natural Space, the existence of the bank of Guadiamar, recently recovered -with the Protected Landscape Corredor Verde del Guadiamar (Guadiamar Green Corridor)- and the good state of preservation of the fields in general. An outlook that turns our region into one of the main green areas in the province of Seville, land full of natural contrasts, of variety of ecosystems, and of flora and fauna.
The southern part of the region is included in the Doñana Natural Space, taking up the 30 per cent of the Park (18.124 hectares are within the Natural Park and 14.672 hectares inside the National Park). Doñana is biosphere reserve, World Heritage site and Special Protection Area for Birds, as well as one of the most significant wetlands in the continent. Doñana is also well known all around the world for its ecological and faunal wealth.
Within the Sevillian Doñana, we find places full of great environmental wealth with a high tourist potential as Veta La Palma, Raya Real, Brazos de la Torre y del Este, and Arroyo de Pilas (Pilas stream) - included in the Natural Space due to its function as corridor for one of the most protected species around the world, the Iberian lynx.
The belonging of large part of our territory to the lynx protection (that restricts and makes conditional the economic use of the region since its creation in 1969), is starting being considered as a clear potential to this side of the province of Seville.
This is precisely one of the main courses of action of ADAD, that works to give the region the highest tourist strength, by promoting initiatives (ecotourism, rural and ornithological tourism, etc.) that carry out a competitive and sustainable tourism of nature, able to generate wealth and employment in our towns.
Villafranco: currently, municipality of Isla Mayor
GUADIAMAR GREEN CORRIDOR
Another significant natural space in the territory is the Protected Landscape Corredor Verde del Guadiamar (Guadiamar Green Corridor), which passes through the whole region. This space has recently been part of an ambitious integrated planning project in our country, even though it rose owing to a huge environmental disaster -the break in the mining waste pond in Aznalcóllar in 1998- it has finally turned into an international ecological model.
Through the regeneration of the bank of Guadiamar river, besides recovering the ecological integrity in its aquatic land systems (that had practically disappeared due to the abandonment and the uncontrolled discharges), it has recovered one of the functions that the river and its watershed in Bajo Guadalquivir exercised: its role as corridor for species and processes among the coastal ecosystems in Doñana and Sierra Morena, and its usefulness as water contribution to Doñana marshland.
OTHER NATURAL SPACES
Aljarafe-Doñana has a large quantity of natural resources, including Dehesa de Abajo, a designated nature reserve located in La Puebla del Río, which counts on about 875 hectares, distributed among wild olive tree hills, pines, lake and marshland transformed in rice field. However, the special interest in this place lives in the ecosystem edge (zone of contact between the marshland and the Mediterranean land, which generates large biodiversity of flora and fauna) and the concentration of the biggest conoly of white storks in wild olive trees -with a total of 400 registered nests-, and important colony of flamingos and other species.
Another designated nature reserve is Cañada de los Pájaros, a private property of about 8 hectares, placed in La Puebla del Río. It is a result of an antique gravel bed transformation in a wetland with a great biodiversity and wealth, which is an interesting appeal as natural and tourist resource. Cañada de los Pájaros, besides being used as a home to an enormous variety of aquatic birds in Doñana, has a wildlife recovery center and it carries out environmental education activities and captive breeding of endangered species.
Pinares de Aznalcázar (Aznalcázar pines) and La Puebla del Río, bordering Dehesa de Abajo and Cañada de los Pájaros, constitute a zone of Mediterranean land which joins the two previous towns, and where a large diversity of vegetable species inhabits (pinecones, wild olive trees, laudanum trees, holm and cork oaks, white hill, etc) and animal species (rabbits, hares, rodents, raptors, amphibians). Moreover, this natural space counts on places of entertainment and relaxation, perfectly provided to their use and connected by roads with interpretative paths of a botanical and environmental character.
Between the municipal boundaries of Isla Mayor and La Puebla del Río is Isleta and Los Olivillos, a peculiar wet place of 540 hectares, attractive also due to its proximity to the Doñana National Park. The access to this islands takes place from the center of La Puebla del Río, through a tourist catamaran that has a trip around the Guadalquivir, taking 35 minutes approximately.
The Dehesa Boyal, in the municipal boundaries of Villamanrique de la Condesa and Pilas, is a pine wood with some cork oaks and Mediterranean brushwood. In this space, the most predominant environmental value is the abundance of rabbits, that would maintain an important population of predators. The Laguna de San Lázaro is part of this meadow, a temporary lake of which its community of crustaceans is singular, as well as the presence of various species of birds.
RED NATURA 2000
The Red Natura 2000 is formed by natural spaces that constitute the area of application of the European Habitats Directive. Its construction has the objective of guaranteeing the maintenance or recovery of the favorable state of conservation of the interesting habitats within the territory of the European Union, according to the article 3 of this Directive.
Within the Red Natura 2000, we find two kinds of spaces, the Special Conservation Areas (in Spanish, ZEC) and the Designed Areas (in Spanish, ZEPA) based on the Directive CE/79/409. To the creation of the ZEC areas, the member states propose a national list with the different places to the European Commission, and this declares those spaces as Sites of Community Importance (in Spanish, LIC). The ZEPA areas are directly designed by the member states, according to de article 4 of de Birds Directive. In Aljarafe-Doñana, the places in the following table have been declared Sites of Community Interest and places of Red Natura.
Source: Ministry of Environment of the Junta de Andalucía
* % of surface space coincides with space Natura RENP