Parque Natural de Redes

Parque Natural de Redes
 

Overview
Asturias is home to the small but important Redes natural park, which was established in 2001 as a special area for the protection of birds. Its terrain of steep limestone, sandstone and shale slopes provide substantial opportunities for bird life to thrive and contrast with the beautiful valleys created by water and river erosion.

The high altitude within the Redes natural park also offers excellent examples of glacial valleys. Large glacier cirques and a model karst, with its potholes and sinkholes, can be seen. The park is the source of the river Nalón with its numerous streams, waterfalls and rivers carving its way through the terrain. Redes park has many dams as a result of its plentiful waterways, with the areas drinking water coming from the Tarna dam and the Rioseco dam providing hydroelectricity.

Walking
There are a variety of routes to walk and explore the Alba, Peña del Viento and Arrudos gorge, which enable visitors to experience the unique aspects of this park. They can also enjoy the distinct views of the route along the Brañagallones Road and through the Enmedio river valley.

The ‘Ruta del Alba’ follows along an old mining track, called Llaima Camín, offering spectacular views of the river Alba’s many waterfalls as you explore. Walking along this route you can see a wide variety of fauna and flora, including beech and yew, as well as numerous lichens and mosses. The route starts at Soto Alba Agues follows through the Llaima mountain gorge and onto the plain of the Cross rivers where you can see an old hunting lodge.

The small village of Campo de Caso with its museum of wood and medieval chapel are worthy of visiting and also the Interpretation Centre of Nature, which will expand your knowledge of the park. The Water House at Rioseco provides a plethora of knowledge on the use of the extensive water resources and reservoirs of the park that supply 80% of Asturias’s water needs.

 

Animals & Birds
Redes natural park plays an important part in the biodiversity of Asturias with around fifty different mammals, over hundred birds and numerous reptiles and fish in its waters. Its mature forests are one of the few homes left to the endangered brown bear. It uses its acute hearing and sense of smell to detect its food the small birds, animals and fish in the rivers and lakes.

Wandering these woods is the Iberian wolf, often seen as a threat to livestock its territories have been reduced but due to its exceptional adaptability it can live in the high mountain altitudes down through to the grasslands. They hunt the deer, goats and numerous chamois living in the forests and valleys in packs. The unique central cushion of the chamois gives it accessibility to the rugged and icy peaks of the region.

The extensive forests also provide cover and plentiful food in the form of young shoots, leaves and berries for the roe deer that prefer to live amongst heavy vegetation. Within the forest visitors can also see the evidence of the nocturnal boars underneath the oak tree where they have been foraging for acorns. They are content both in the deciduous forests of the region and amongst the gorse and brambles of higher regions.

Within Asturias the hare is endemic and lives amongst the broom and scrub that covers the hillsides, as well as in the forests. Living within the numerous river basins and reservoirs of the park are otters that feed on the fish and frogs that populate these waters. The clean freshwaters of the rivers and lakes are also home to trout. The fishing of trout is now strictly controlled by Spanish authorities and even banned in the breeding rivers to help protect its numbers.

Redes is home to a wide variety of birds of prey and its steep slopes are home to the fastest animal of the world, the peregrine falcon. It can reach up to 300 kilometers per hour is its swooping dive. The golden eagle offers some of the most spectacular aerial displays and its amazing sight can spot its prey; rabbits, hares, mice, foxes, snakes and wild cats, hundreds of meters away.

Vultures are common sight within the park gliding on thermals in search of carrion. And the mountain ledges provide excellent breeding sites. Within the dense forests the sudden spurts of flight of the goshawk enable it to skillfully maneuver through the trees in search of its prey, pigeons, woodcocks, crows, hares, rabbits, mink and martens.

Ground nesting birds such as the partridge and the capercaillie (protected bird since 1996) favour the woodland terrain with its abundance of seeds, and herbaceous plants plus berries respectively. The black and middle spotted woodpecker thrive on the insect and larvae of the trees.

Another endangered species that inhabits the Cantabrian mountains is the treparriscos. This bird is ideally suited to cling to the rock walking and jumping to reach the cracks containing the dormant insects, spider and molluscs it feeds on.

Plants
The Redes natural park has a wide range of vegetation and with its extensive woodlands it is dominated by the beech and oak forests. These are mostly in the higher areas of the Nalón, Set and Seal river basins. These deciduous forests provide a wide and varied food source for many of the animals and birds.

Other forests contain the chestnut, holly, yew and helechilla (Trichomanes speciosum) and the pastures offer the opportunity to see many flowers (daffodils and heathers) plus the juniper and cranberry bushes offering many animals and birds with an excellent source of nourishment.

 

 
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