This week we travel to the province of Castellón to discover the Prat de Cabanes-Torreblanca Natural Park, a wetland which, together with the Columbretes Islands, is one of the oldest protected areas in the province (1988). Reclassified as a natural park in 1994, this coastal plain, where fresh water from the aquifers and salt water from the Mediterranean meet, is also part of the Natura 2000 Network and is a member of the RAMSAR convention (a convention that includes wetlands of international importance especially as habitats for aquatic birds).
In the past, this wetland was an albufera connected to the sea, but over the centuries a string of gravels has been closing the passage, eventually isolating it from the Mediterranean. In the last 100 years, human activities have been important in this aquatic space. On the one hand, the rice fields (now in disuse) that left an infrastructure of canals and irrigation channels and, on the other, the extraction of peat, which created deep lagoons. These transformations, together with the maintenance work and the opening of the water bodies with amphibious machinery, have modified the landscape, contributing to a notable increase in biodiversity (especially of aquatic species) and providing an extraordinary natural and tourist attraction to the ecosystem.
Its network of paths and viewpoints attract those who like to alternate beach and nature in this corner of the Mediterranean. Come and discover it and visit the Espai Natura, its information centre in Torrenostra (Torreblanca) to find out much more about this incredible coastal wetland. More information about the natural park on the website of protected areas of the Valencian Community: parquesnaturales.gva.es