Benefit of the month #4: Green Infrastructure and recreation

Each month MaGICLandscapes introduces a particular benefit of green infrastructure including examples from the project’s case study areas and across Central Europe.

Recovery of gravel pits along the River Po: the example of Nature Reserve Lanca* di San Michele

The Nature Reserve Lanca di San Michele is named after a meander of the River Po which was cut off after the floods of 1977. These 237 hectares of wetlands between the Municipalities of Carignano and Carmagnola south of Turin are part of the Natura 2000 Network. Within the Nature Reserve there are lakes that were originally gravel pits and are currently enjoying a natural and environmental recovery, over an area of about 63 hectares. The remaining part, still used for gravel extraction, will become a lake of a depth greater than 7 metres.

The riparian zones and flat areas will be enhanced by planting native tree and shrub species and by establishing scrubby grasslands and meadows. The shallow waters will be enhanced by shrubs, willow trees, reeds and floating islands. The area will become a destination or local leisure and sustainable tourism activities through the provision of leisure zones and a network of pedestrian and cycle paths.

The recovery of the Nature Reserve Lanca di San Michele is being carried out in cooperation between the local mining companies, the two adjacent municipalities and the Po Park Authority.


Naturalization of Germaire quarries

Germaire quarries naturalization | photo: Aree Protette del Po Torinese/Fabrizio Nobili

Biking in Nature Reserve Lanca di San Michele

Biking in Nature Reserve Lanca di San Michele | photo: Andrea Miola

The River Po in Nature Reserve Lanca di San Michele

The River Po in Nature Reserve Lanca di San Michele | photo: Aree Protette del Po Torinese/Roberto Borra

Map of NR Lanca di San Michele

Map of Nature Reserve Lanca die San Michele | source: Città Metropolitana di Torino

Header photo: Alberto Tamietti
(* Lanca is the Italian word for an ox-bow lake. Ox-bow lakes are created when a river changes course leaving behind a free-standing body of water where the river previously flowed.)