Trebbia River Regional Park
This river park protects relictual environments in planitial settings which are important vegetation habitats for species of common interest.
This protected area of 4.000 hectares is located near the lower part of the Trebbia River, from where it meets the Po up to where it extends out over the piedmont in the Municipality of Rivergaro, and it includes a cone-shaped area and part of the plains. The Trebbia River is one of the main tributaries of the Po which has been able to maintain its natural characteristics and the high quality of its waters from its source to its mouth.
The value of the nature and landscapes in the valley and the dales that surround this river can be seen in their geomorphology and environmental heterogeneity. The plains area is characterized by a typical branching out of the river, with large areas of floodplains and alluvial deposits, and the middle part of the floodplain is made up of erodible lithologies and then it fans out near the end in a large cone. This alluvial fan of interconnected shallow canals has both an important naturalistic value as it provides the necessary conditions for flora and fauna native to this area as well as an environmental value in that it maintains the underground water bearing layer.
The main flora of interest in this area is located in the thickly pebbled zones which provide the setting for steppe formations and dense shrubbery, which host many different Apennine species and some orchids.
The vegetation in the cone shaped area
The habitats which populate the cone shaped area of the Lower Trebbia are represented by the various types of vegetation typical of the riverbeds and pebbly banks of the area between the Apennines and the Po. These vegetation types can basically be ascribed to arboreal formations dominated by poplars (Populus alba and Populus nigra) and willows (Salix alba and Salix eleagons in particular), especially widespread between the banks of the Trebbia and the surrounding artificial landscapes, or better, in the areas subject to flooding (floodplains), and to the shrubby areas of the river shelf. In the vast areas of pebbly riverbanks, there are many types of orchids, such as Ophrys apifera, Orchis morio, Orchis coriophora, Orchis ustulata, Orchis tridentata.
The Croara Woods
A mesophyll broad-leaf woods which falls under the category of Physospermun-Quercetum petreae and is made up of Anemone trifolia ssp. italica and Physospermum cornubiense. This association falls under the alliance of the Carpionion (Fagetalia), which includes climatic forest formations of deciduous mesophyll broadleaves located in the plains and hilly areas of most of Europe. Where the thinning out age is in the distant past in the arboreal layer, the sessile oak dominates (Quercus petraea), as does the turkey oak (Quercus cerris). A large area also hosts chestnut trees (Castanea sativa) the governance of which has long been abandoned. In the Rio Carbonara basin, the hornbeam is dominant (Carpinus betulus) as is the cherry tree (Prunus avium). There are also sub-Mediterranean species such as Fraxinus ornus, Sorbus torminalis and Quercus pubescens. Butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus) can be found in the underbrush of most of the thermophilia zones. Among the other angiosperms there are English oaks (Quercus robur), glossy buckhorn (Frangula alnus), service trees (Sorbus domestica), hazel trees (Corylus avellana), field maples (Acer campestre), wayfaring trees (Viburnum lantana), and honeysuckle (Lonicera caprifolium). In the moors, the dominant species are heather (Calluna vulgaris) and scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius). Important among the emerging flora are the protected species such as Orchis morio, Vinca minor, Ruscus aculeatus, Lilium bulbiferum ssp.croceum, Plantathera bifolia, Plantathera chlorantha, Cephalanthera longifolia.
With regards to fauna, this area hosts species typical of the conoid areas of rivers in the Northern Apennines, which are suited to steppe environments like the wide stretches of arid prairies bordered by floodplains and habitats which are becoming rarer and rarer in this area such as arid grasslands in conoid areas, pebbly banks and isolated areas of gravel in rivers, riparian strips, humid ecotones and riparian woods. These are nesting sites, in particular for avian species of common interest. Due to its geographic location, the Trebbia River is a stop for many migrating species, in particular ducks, which move from their winter habitats to those where they can nest. The conoid area of the Trebbia River plays a key role in the conservation of the Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus), an important species for conservation both nationally and in Europe.
In the park, the vicinity of different habitats allows for the nesting of numerous species of birds native to the grassland and fringe areas (Red-backed Shrike, Tawny Pipit, Lark, Eurasian Nightjar), to river areas (King Fisher) and to gravelly banks (Little Tern, Common Tern, Stone Curlew, a rare species that regularly nests along the pebbly banks of the river and in the adjacent bushy areas). The floodplains are inhabited for nutritional reasons or as a resting spot during the migrations of Herons (Great White Heron, Night Heron, Little Egret), limicolous and birds of prey. The conoid area of the Trebbia River hosts one of the last self-sufficient provincial populations of gray partridges (about one hundred birds) and along the riverbanks there are colonies of Bank Swallows and Bee-eaters.
The herpetofauna includes numerous species typical of hilly or plains habitats; those of conservation interest are: the Western Whip Snake (Hierophis viridiflavus), Viperine Snake (Natrix maura), Grass Snake (Natrix natrix), Dice Snake (Natrix tessellata), European Green Lizard (Lacerta viridis), and the Italian Wall Lizard (Podarcis sicula).
As for fish, there are Spined Loach (Cobitis taenia), Mediterranean Barbel (Barbus meridionalis), Italian Barbel (Barbus plebejus) and Southern European Nase.
Corso Garibaldi, 50