There are different plots of special interest due to their characteristics which would allow increasing the area of priority vegetation formations. The seeding and plantation of natural species typical of priority salt flats in fragmented plots in different wetlands can be more effective for the dispersal of seeds and propagules to close areas than when this activity is implemented in one single wetland. A higher distribution of the restoration activities also increases the probability of permanence of some natural formations in case of a natural or human-induced adversities.
This purchase was implemented according to the plot purchasing conditions imposed by the European Commission in the framework of the LIFE projects Call 2010.
Land purchase is directly related to the project objectives, the conservation and restoration of Mediterranean salt steppes. The first step to achieve a restoration of the hábitat (*1510 Mediterranean salt steppes) was purchasing the plots located on the sides of the wetlands, where these priority vegetal formations grow in a natural environment and that where being destined for farming purposes until now. About 274 hectares (ha) have been purchased in total. They are located in basins or areas around the wetlands. They are high-value areas because they host species of priority conservation and of interest for the Habitats and Birds Directives.
- Restoration of lake environments
- Production of halophile vegetation
- Production of trees and shrubs to create hedgerows, copses and verges
- Restructuring of pathways
- Sowing and planting halophile vegetation. Reclaiming habitats of community interest, 1310 and 1510.
- Creation of hedgerows, copses and restoration of verges with tree and shrub species.
- Signposting at lakes with information panels on the implementation of the LIFE-NATURE programme and the value of each wetland
- Awareness-raising among farmers and landowners, and promoting sale of their output, endorsed by the Natura 2000 network
- Itinerant exhibition on La Mancha Wetlands
- Talks and lectures associated with the itinerant exhibition
- Production of a DVD providing information about the project
- Information and educational materials about the project
- Publication of scientific research explaining project findings.
- Creation of a website for La Mancha Wetlands
- Communications plan for LIFE project La Mancha Wetlands
- Final report on findings
Fundación Global Nature was the coordinator of the LIFE project “La Mancha Wetlands” and worked closely with the Department of Agriculture and the Environment of Castile-La Mancha’s Regional Government on the following tasks:
- Monitoring, indicators and changes in habitats: plant mapping
- Monitoring. Indicators of fauna. Regular censuses
- Monitoring. Database associated with a Geographic Information System (GIS)
- Conservation plans once the LIFE project concludes
- Project audit
- Creation of a follow-up committee
- Networking with other projects (both LIFE and other kinds)