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Type of protected area - Where it is located
Typology: WWF refuge; established in 1998, it is owned by the Municipality of Asti and managed by the WWF under a multi-year agreement.
The WWF Valmanera refuge is located in the northern outskirts of Asti, in the hamlet of Valmanera; it occupies a hilly wooded area of about 10 hectares.
WWF Valmanera refuge (photo www.provincia.asti.it/hosting/wwf)
The refuge is located in a hilly forest, a remnant of the ancient flora of Monferrato, settled on Asti sands, evidence of the ancient Pliocene sea. The vegetation is characterized by the presence of English oak, hornbeam, field maple, chestnut, wild cherry tree from the ciavardello, and in the upper part by downy oak, with rich undergrowth of blackthorn, hawthorn, priest's hat, juniper, calluna. The oasis also includes a stretch of the Valmanera stream, with wet meadows, a path of mulberry trees and some meadows exposed to the south, with various botanical rarities.
The whole Valmanera area (over 2000 hectares) has been included by the Piedmont Region among the SIC (Sites of Community Interest).
The major fauna includes the badger, the fox, two species of shrew, the hare, the hedgehog, the dormouse, the squirrel, the dormouse, two species of bats, the marten; among the birds there are beautiful colonies of green woodpecker and great spotted woodpecker, and also the lesser spotted woodpecker, the bee-eater, the buzzard, the kestrel, the goshawk, the nightjar, the hoopoe, the oriole, various species of tits, the codibugnolo and the wren. Among the reptiles, the rat snake, the orbit, the collared natrix, the green lizard, the wall lizard, and among the amphibians the green frog, the toad, the crested newt.
Information for the visit
Didactic itinerary illustrated in the woods.
How to get there:
By car: A21 motorway, exit at the two Asti tollbooths and follow the signs for Valmanera.
By train: from Asti railway station, by bus to the hamlet of Valmanera, walking the last stretch of road on foot.
WWF Asti Section
loc Valmanera 94