What it is and where the Collserola Park is located
Collserola Park, with over 8,000 hectares, is a true green island in the middle of one of the most densely populated urban areas on the Mediterranean coastline. 50 % of the population of Catalonia lives less than ten kilometres away from the park, which makes in the largest metropolitan park in the world: 8 times larger than the Bois de Boulogne in Paris, and 22 times larger than Central Park in New York. The valleys of the rivers Llobregat and Besós, together with the plain of Barcelona and the Vallés basin, mark the geographical boundaries of the Collserola massif.
Biogeographically, two worlds come together in the mountain range: the Euro-Siberian and the Mediterranean; this, in conjunction with Man's use of the terrain since prehistoric times, conditions a natural heritage formed by a complex mosaic of landscapes, where we find from forests of Aleppo pines and nut pines, evergreen oaklands, riverside copses, maquis and scrublands, to brush and Savannah grasslands. In the park, over a thousand major plants and around thirty plant communities have been catalogued. This environmental diversity enables the existence of a rich, varied wildlife.
Some 300 species of vertebrates have been cited in the sphere of the park: wild boars, genets, stone martens, badgers, rabbits and squirrels are the most characteristic mammals; bird life is extensively represented: blue tits, whitethroats, treecreepers (Certhia brachydactyla), woodpeckers, bee eaters, doves and also bird of prey, such as the goshawk, sparrow hawk and the common rat catching eagle. The formation of the sierra does not permit permanent water courses to exit, although the presence of many springs, ponds and pools of water encourages a large variety of amphibians and reptiles: salamanders, newts, green tree frogs, the small southern frog, toads, the small spotted toad, the Mediterranean turtle, the giant turtle, the ocellated lizard, snakes...
Since 1987, Collserola has had a "Special Plan for Regulation and Protection of the Natural Environment", which gives it a park statute, in accordance with current city-planning legislation. This plan has the following priority objectives: to maintain the stability of the ecosystems, to conserve the biological diversity, to conserve the cultural and landscape heritage, and to offer new opportunities for leisure and learning.
Since 1988, the Metropolitan Board of Collserola Park has been responsible for the direct management of the park. It is structured as an autonomous body, within the Community of Municipalities of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona. It is comprised of a Board of Directors, in which the nine municipalities forming the park are represented.
A technical team, structured into four services, is in charge of developing and giving continuity to the following lines of work.
|1. Management of the Board's environmental and manpower resources, guidance of the implementation of the Special Plan, management of uses and activities.|
|2. Conservation of the ecosystems, research programs and monitoring of species as risk, fire prevention, control of woodland plagues, reforestation, enhancing the wildlife, surveillance, maintenance and cleaning of the park.|
|3. Equipping of areas for leisure and nature spotting, restoration of traditional buildings, upkeep of the road network and signposting.|
|4. Information and promotion of the Park's natural values, environmental education programs targeted at primary and secondary schools in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, attention to voluntary workers and sponsorship programs.|
The Park has four installations open to the public, from which all the activities aimed at information, education and promotion of environmental values are coordinated and dynamized.
|- The Information Centre: this is the Park's central accommodation centre, offering general information to the visitor, permanent exhibitions, videos and audiovisuals, and suggesting participatory and educational activities.|
|- Can Coll is an environmental education centre targeted and kindergarten and primary school education. It also offers programs aimed at special education and adults' schools, and environmental teaching and training sessions targeted at future teachers.|
|- Mas Pins is an environmental education centre which offers activities aimed at secondary school, school-leaving and university students. During weekends and school holidays, the centre accommodates work groups carrying out their own programs.|
|- The documentation and educational resources Centre, housed in Can Coll, is a service providing information and materials concerned with Collserola Park and environmental education generally.|