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Appiano Gentile and Tradate Pinewood Regional Park
Appiano Gentile and Tradate Pinewoods Park is located in the provinces of Como and Varese.
The peculiar environmental characteristic of the territory included within the boundaries of the pinewood park is its presence of continuous and extensive forests, which stand out against the broader geographical area of upper Po River Valley, where much of the land has undergone drastic anthropogenic changes.
The vicinity to large cities and the conurbation of Gallarate, Busto Arsizio and Legnano, the presence of a structured road network and proximity to rail networks make this area a popular destination for nature lovers.
The territory of the park, from a morphological standpoint, can be defined as a plateau consisting of moraine deposits in the various successive glaciations and has two fundamental aspects: an area heavily engraved by small valleys with a prevalent north-south trend in the southern and western areas and an area with a more gradual altimetric slope in the areas to the north and east.
The vegetation is typical of Lombard moorlands, consisting mainly of Scots pine forests that form pure or mixed forests. The mixed forest areas also combine with English oak, chestnut, acacia, hornbeam, birch, elm and maple trees, concentrated mostly on the oldest ferritized moraines, composed of a loamy soil rich in iron oxides and hydroxides.
The historical events and highly fragmented ownership of the land have resulted in the park's irregular forests. The inclusion of exotic tree species and those suitable for mass lumber production, such as the black locust, white pine and red oak, has influenced the natural development of the forests.
The hunting activities of the past, the urban pressure and lack of consistent watering sources have limited the potential of the area's wildlife. The ornithic population of the park is diversified nonetheless: 96 species were surveyed throughout the annual cycle , including 58 nesting species . The park is also home to 4 species of nesting birds of prey (hawk , buzzard , sparrow hawk, kestrel) , who share the reproductive environment with other species of natural interest for their current scarcity and interesting ecology, like the nightjar , the oriole and the crested tit.