"Il Bottaccio della Visona" (Province of Lucca, Commune of Capannori) and the "Bosco di Tanali" (Tanali Wood), situated in the western sector of the old bed of Lake Bientina, are the last two tiny residual strips of lowland plain woods that once surrounded the lake. "Il Bottaccio", with a surface area of about 20 hectares, falls totally within the artificial flood plain of the Rio Visona of Castelvecchio, which ends its course there. The practically unpolluted waters which flow from the Pisan Mountains and run within the river banks remain in the "Il Bottaccio", at least for as long as the marked regime of the Rio Visona allows, so creating marsh and semi-marshland habitats which gradually extend into woodland. This is therefore an artificial habitat, but one still with strong natural characteristics. The geology is the same as that of Bientina Lake. In particular, "Il Bottaccio", situated at the foot of Castelvecchio Plain alluvial fan, corresponds to the old mouth of the Rio Visona. The resulting soils, developed from alluvial deposits, range from gravel-sand and clay deposits; pedogenesis was disturbed by recurrent overflows. The much varied landscape can be divided into four distinct types: woodland, wet meadows, reed thickets and the "ponds", all competing to form a varied mosaic.
The Protected Area
Under Resolution C.C. n° 82 of 18.07.96, the Commune of Capannori (Province of Lucca) designated the 16.6 hectares of "Il Bottaccio" a Natural Protected Area of Local Interest (ANPIL: Area Naturale Protetta d'Interesse Locale); afterwards, under Resolution C.C. n° 25 of 28.03.00, the Commune of Capannori extended the ANPIL southwards with a total of 50 hectares. Under Resolution CC. n° 50 of 14.05.98, the Commune of Bientina (Province of Pisa) extended the Tanali Wood ANPIL northwards so that it joined "Il Bottaccio" and included that part of the latter which lies within the Pisan Area. In this manner, two adjacent and continuous protected areas were created with a total of about 225 hectares, the first and only protected areas in the Bientina Plain. With acquisition of the State demesne rights, the Italian Association for the World Wide Fund has managed "Il Bottaccio" since 1991. Since 1993 it has been part of the WWF network of national oases. The aims of "Il Bottaccio" Management are the conservation of the present landscape, safeguarding the flora and fauna and to render the protected area usable by providing suitable facilities. Notice Boards round the periphery clearly indicate its status as a protected area, inform the public that hunting is prohibited and that the area is a WWF Oasis. "Il Bottaccio" is a closed reserve and all entrances have lockable gates.
For information and guided tours
WWF di Lucca, Via Don Minzoni n° 300 - S. Anna - Lucca: tel. 0583/56008 (office hours) e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Associazione Il Tuffetto: tel. 0583/269012, or 389/7816207, e-mail email@example.com
Il Bottaccio, Capannori
An artificially natural habitat in the lowland plains
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