Green Belt of Vitoria-Gasteiz - Armentia park
The fires and excessive exploitation of the last two decades placed the forest of Armentia in a very precarious state of conservation. In 1974, the Provincial Council of Alava, the owner of this land, began work to improve the gall oak wood and thus initiated the creation of a botanical park in the deforested areas, including native species together with other, more exotic plants and trees. The maples, rowan trees, cypresses and many other species date from that period.
In the mid-90s, the wood showed clear signs of degradation such as the accumulation of rubbish, remains of bonfires, and excessive number of pathways and tracks and numerous eroded and flooded areas. The disorderly influx of visitors and especially vehicles were the main threat for the conservation of this park. The natural gall oak wood contained a large number of small, bushy trees with badly formed bases, and there were few well-developed mature trees.
After being included in the Green Belt, the first work consisted of restructuring the network of paths, improving the main tracks and closing the smaller ones, and the creation of a network of pathways for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. The degraded areas were restored, such as rubbish dumps, eroded areas and riverbanks. Additionally, car parks were prepared at the main entrances to the park and two sitting areas were created.
Work to maintain the wood has been and continues to be a key contributing factor to the healthy state of conservation that is apparent today in Armentia park.
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