Today we travel to the Gothic Plains to discover the La Nava Lagoon, sited in vast cereal steppe-lands of Palencia.

Until the 80 years ago, this area hosted a large wetland, called the Mar de Campos, which with its more than 3000 hectares was one of the largest and most important aquatic areas in the interior of the Iberian Peninsula.

Like so many of our wetlands, it was drained “in order to use the area for cultivation and to eliminate diseases”.

In the 1990s, Fundación Global Nature began its work in this region with the project to restore the first 60 hectares of the current Laguna de La Nava. Now there are more than 400 hectares of restored wetlands and the goal is to recover the habitat and ecological functions of this former wetland which has once again turned this plain of Palencia into an oasis for biodiversity, including resident, migratory and wintering birds.

The Laguna de La Nava is part of the Natura 2000 Network and has been declared a Special Area of Conservation. Furthermore, due to its international importance, it is also a Ramsar site.

Along with the resident birds (a multitude of ducks, herons, moorhens, coots, etc.), every winter thousands of cranes and sometimes as many as 9,000 greylag geese arrive to these wetlands from the north.

But small birds also find refuge and rest in La Nava, such as the endangered aquatic warbler, which in its annual migration uses these wetlands as a “gas station” to continue its migratory route.

Be sure to visit the Laguna de La Nava, as well as its observatories and the Casa del Parque in Fuentes de Nava to discover more about this wetland area.

Today we meet Elena Totorica. A young entrepreneur, who after studying and having lived in capitals such as Madrid, Budapest or London, chose rural Palencia to develop her project: a sustainable hotel in Frómista.

In the heart of Tierra de Campos, and in the middle of the Camino de Santiago, Elena tries to ensure that every traveller who arrives at her hotel takes with them enriching experiences and discovers something of the history and rural heritage of the area. And when asked about nature, she is clear: she recommends La Laguna de La Nava for all the biodiversity it contains.

With melancholy, she confesses: “those who were able to see the old Mar de Campos when is was still alive, were very lucky!”.