Green Belt of Vitoria-Gasteiz - Zabalgana park
The island wood of Zabalgana
Although it is difficult to imagine, the entire Llanada Alavesa used to be covered by woods, which were progressively cut down for a variety of different reasons, but basically in order to obtain land for farming.
This woodland is therefore of great importance as a testimony to the native vegetation that covered this area more than a century ago. It is like a small island of trees surrounded by a sea of farmland, an important refuge for the wild flora and fauna of an area with a strong human presence and very simplified ecologically. This is known by the term of "island wood".
The dominant species in the woods is a type of oak, the gall oak. Most of the trees found in the Park are young, although there are also older trees in some areas, with magnificent examples of trees that are allowed to grow until they reach full maturity. In addition to the gall oak, there are maples, hawthorns, junipers, blackthorns, ashes and other trees and bushes.
Weasels, hares, rabbits and foxes are some of the mammals that make up the faunistic community of this wood, which is also the home of a large variety of species of birds such as great tits, robins, magpies, blackbirds and little owls. The high-pitched "kee-ew" of this nocturnal bird of prey can sometimes be heard at dusk.
Nesting boxes can be seen hanging from some of the trees in the Park. These boxes have been constructed and placed for activities designed for schoolchildren in order to facilitate the survival and reproduction of these species of birds.
Also, thanks to the campaign "Adopt a tree and grow up with it", some sections of the park have been planted with small saplings (evergreen oaks, gall oaks, etc.), which will allow us to extend the surface area occupied by the original woods.
The lakes of Lezea and Zabalgana
The lake of Lezea, an old pool used for agricultural purposes, and the lakes of Zabalgana, created after the restoration of an old gravel pit, reveal a fascinating aquatic world. The most common birds on these lakes include the coot, moorhen and mallard.
On the water, and among the reeds and bulrushes that grow on the banks, there are frogs, water boatmen, whirligig beetles and dragonflies.
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