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Landscape preservation and species protection

arnie

Landscape preservation and species protection means appreciating and enhancing the vitality and natural resources of our local area. It is only by protecting plant and animal species that a balanced interaction among all vital elements can be achieved.

Meadows and woods, and projects for the protection of insects and birds are just a few examples of how we contribute to preserving natural balances. The LaSelva property includes around 170 hectares of Mediterranean scrub and green areas. We use these uncultivated areas to create new habitats and shelters for several animal and plant species.

Reforestation:


Owing to fires and deforestation, many trees have disappeared over the past centuries in Maremma. This has caused greater soil erosion and increased the risk of floods. In order to deal with these issues and increase biodiversity, new native trees and shrubs have been planted. A total number of over 7000 trees have been planted on lands owned by LaSelva. The reforestation – consisting of trees and bushes – not only contributes to reducing the atmospheric emission of CO2, but also to increasing the habitats available for several native species.

Bees and insects:


Today, there are around 50 swarms of bees at LaSelva which are essential for good harvests because they pollinate flowers and plants. The variety of bees farmed is the Mellifera Ligustica, a native bee of the area and excellent honey maker. Every year over 3 hectares of flowering plants are sown to guarantee that bees have adequate food resources. The species used for this purpose are specifically the following: Phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia), Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia), Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus), Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) and Vetch (Vicia Villosa). The plants are sown in separate tiers and blossom in sequence to ensure that the bees are fed continuously. Together with tiers of flowers, a key role in creating a suitable habitat is played by the organic farming method used and by the presence and management of woodland areas. The variety of plant species, the presence of uncultivated land and the refusal to use herbicides and insecticides significantly safeguard the well-being of animals.

In addition to bees, other insects also play a huge role in our farm. Ladybirds, for example, which find shelter in the bushes, feed on crop-eating aphids and therefore naturally control parasites. By refusing to use synthetic pesticides we prevent the destruction of insects which in turn are a food source for many bird species.

 
Other projects favouring biodiversity:

•    Pheasant enclosure used for rearing wild birds and protecting them against poachers.
•    Dead wood as habitat for several species of beetles.
•    Bird protection: cooperation with the Gruppo Ornitologico Maremmano (Maremma Ornithological Group) for the protection of endangered bird species. Installation of over 200 nest boxes across LaSelva’s premises.
•   Cultivation of wild animal feed, such as sorghum, sunflower, corn and wheat on uncultivated lands with high salinity levels.
•    Wet biotopes used as shelters and troughs for several animal species such as tortoises.
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