Rocchetta Tanaro Natural Park
The establishment of the Rocchetta Tanaro Regional Natural Park dates back to 1980.
The Rocchetta Tanaro Park covers an area of 123 hectares and is located at an altitude of 110-124 meters above sea level.
From the geological point of view, the area is part of a hilly complex consisting of yellow sands of Villafranchiano, outcropping at the top, which are subject to the sands of the Astiano. Given the constitution, the soil is subject to intense erosive activity, barely held back by the roots of the plants. The slope of the side, noticeable in the lower part of the hills, decreases upwards until it forms almost flat summits for long stretches. The valley bottom is generally furrowed and is very wet.
Park, both from a climatic and a vegetation point of view, is located at the center of a sort of bridge between the Langhe area, where there are significant Mediterranean influences and that of the Turin hill system, where elements of alpine vegetation are still present.
Significant is the presence of the “big beech” (called “Faggio Emilio”) of the Val du Gè (Valle del Gelo), a very high specimen with a height of more than 25 meters and a crown diameter of around 20 meters which grows to the minimum height for Piedmont (130 meters asl), and represents a reminder of the beech woods spread over the entire area at the end of the last glacial period.
Part of the park's surface is represented by the forest: a mixed oak forest in which the dominant species are oak and English oak, together with downy oak and Turkey oak. The study of the park's vegetation was of the utmost importance to reconstruct the original forest aspect of the Astian basin. Of a certain importance for anthropic activities is the chestnut and the locust used as firewood and for fencing and, above all in the past, for the vines' palings. The light and airy structure of the oak foliage allows light to reach the soil easily, thus allowing the development of numerous tree and shrub species.
The oak predominantly oak is characterized by the presence of the ostrich, the ciavardello, the medlar, the hawthorn and the honeysuckle; in the farneto it is easy to meet the hazel next to the wild linden, the white hornbeam, the field maple, while in proximity of the rivers the white poplar and the black alder grow abundantly.
In the herbaceous undergrowth interesting species develop such as the orchids, the lily of the valley, the Solomon's seal, the dog tooth, the Lilioasfodelo, the Lily of St. John and the Campanellino.
The forest also offers a refuge for numerous fauna species: among the mammals the most common are the wild boar, the fox, the squirrel, the hedgehog, the weasel, the dormouse and the badger, chosen as the symbol of the park. The particularly rich birdlife is represented by about forty nesting species, among which we highlight: the rare lesser spotted woodpecker, the nuthatch, the mountain biking, the green luì, the heron, the noisy jays and numerous diurnal and nocturnal birds of prey.
In the valley bottom run two state-owned rivers, the Rabengo to the west and the Ronsinaggio to the east, which delimit the boundaries of the park. Significant from a naturalistic point of view is the presence of the crayfish, a biological indicator and witness to the good quality of the water. Ronsinaggio originates from the source “Canà”, a source of ferruginous and limpid water which was the main source of supply for the inhabitants of the area until the 1960s. The source can be reached on foot or by mountain bike following the cycle ring route.
• Pacha Mama educational hostel
The Pacha Mama educational hostel is in the heart of the Natural Park and offers services to both travelers and tourists as well as organized schools and groups. Activities include the use of the classroom (computer, library, information on animal and plant species present in the area), outdoor activities, organic garden, interaction with animals (goats, donkeys, chickens), an area intended for the “game” with the materials present in the park, photographic trips, artistic activities to be organized with the staff of the cooperative. Offer bed and breakfast and small catering service. Number of places available 24 with room equipped for disabled people.
• Refreshment area
The kiosk in the park car park offers a refreshment service based on typical Piedmontese cuisine and wines from local producers. Ample space for horses to rest with water, hay and adequate equipment for their shelter. It is also possible to rent mountain bikes to enjoy the park in a healthy and environmentally friendly way. The food service is available throughout the day, mainly on weekends.
• The Orchard of memory
“Orchard of memory” covers a plot of about 1500 square meters on the side of the Park House and will be characterized by the presence of 64 saplings of eight old varieties of apples once very present in the Asti area and now almost disappeared (Carlo Bianco, Ciucarina white, Calvin, Gamba fina, Grigio Piemonte, Piatlin, Pom Marcon, Ruscaio). This small defense of biodiversity was born above all for educational purposes for the children of the elementary school of Rocchetta Tanaro.
• For information
CSPS Cooperativa Sociale Produzione Servizi
Via XX Settembre, 84 - 14100 Asti
tel and fax 0141 31741 - email email@example.com
Ente Parchi Astigiani
Via S. Martino, 5 14100 Asti
Tel. 0141 592091 - 0141 593777
Parco Naturale di Rocchetta Tanaro
Via Salie, 19 - 14030 Rocchetta Tanaro
Tel and fax 0141 644714 - email firstname.lastname@example.org