Environmental Station Madrevieja

Project summary

The largest freshwater surface in the Campo de Gibraltar region until the first half of the 20th century was drained for agrarian use. The project is developed on a plot of ten hectares, adjacent to facilities of Cepsa Química Guadarranque in San Roque (Cádiz). The plot, owned by Cepsa is close to the stream Madrevieja, with a well-preserved gallery forest, and a “azebuchal “ Mediterranean forest of wild olive trees (Olea europaea var. Sylvestris), degraded by cattle used to control grass. This project performs a functional replacement of the Fontetar lagoon.


The action, launched in 2009, consists mainly in the building of two artificial lagoons one deep and one shallow to get different habitats, located to 1 km approx. from the former Fontetar lagoon, dried in the past for agricultural use. This land, closed with a fence, could behave as a micro reserve. Some endangered species of mammals have been detected as otter (Lutra lutra) and water vole (Arvicola sapidus) and initial ornithological census carried out after the building of the artificial lagoons, have detected almost 100 species of birds using the habitats of the plot. The high biodiversity levels are probably due to the wetland construction and to the location of the project in the path of migration of some birds. Both, species in transit and residents share the habitats as probably they accustom to use the territories connected to the former Fontetar lagoon, since there are few fresh water spaces in the area.

A multi-purpose environmental classroom for workshops and environmental education activities, built reconditioning old maritime containers as an example of recycling and sustainability, is currently under construction to be installed in the plot.

Project results

A path for environmental education with a bird observatory and several other arrangements to enrich the biodiversity of this land as the creation of two temporary ponds to promote the conservation of amphibians, rabbit refugees, and reforestation with plants of the Mediterranean vegetal series of “acebuchal” (Tamo communis-Oleetum sylvestris ) has been created.

Countries affected


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