The Lake Sils is an area of outstanding natural beauty and extremely unusual in a predominantly Mediterranean ambient. The current landscape is dominated by mixed woods in the riverbanks with some groups of common alders, as well as notable fragments watered vegetation that occupy flooding places as watercresses, reeds, bulrushes, duckweeds and communities of cyperaceae and juncaceae.
In some cases these communities are very unique and are not represented in other wetlands in Catalonia. It should be mentioned, however, the special fragility of these natural systems vulnerable to any action disturbing the environment.
Items of Interest
The meadow is one of the most significant botanical landscape of the Pond of Sils. It is a semi-natural community that develops uppon the clay soils, often partially flooded, of the old bed of the pond. Until a few decades ago it took up most of the dried earth. Comprise a variety of herbaceous plants that had interest as fodder. Their maintenance is only possible following the traditional consisting of styting the grass during the spring-summer and occasionally in autumn-winter. Without this management meadow degenerates and is invaded by riparian or wetland communities and their floristic diversity disappears.
In places where water remains stagned for long periods, the meadow is gradually replaced by marshy grasslands, dominated by large sedges, which in Sils we know as balcalló.
The riverbanks vegetation is present in a fragmentary form along the edges of ditches, canals and meadows of the lake, in the presence of ashes, alders, grey willows and sallows. Anyway well preserved riparian forests are located in the vicinity of the streams, such as stream of Vallcanera.
The undulating relief and variety of microclimates and soils of the nearby lands around the Pond of Sils allow the development a varied vegetation, alternating Central European and Mediterranean elements: oaks, cork oaks, pines, scrublands and dry grasslands.
The area still maintains an interessant wildlife and a great diversity of species due to the wide range of habitats concentrated in this small space. It should be noted the interest of some of those species, which are rare and their populations are subjected to regression.
Undoubtedly, the birds are the most visible ones. The character of the Pond of Sils as wetland suitable for migratory species to shelter and find food. Others use this space as a place for reproduction, such as the little grebe, the little bittern, the water rail and the woodpecker.
Some exotic species have established in the pond of Sils and represent a major negative impact on the environment. The most evident are the mosquitofish, the common carp, the red-eared slider, the freshwater crayfish and the American mink.
The LIFE-Nature project Restoration and management of the Pond of Sils
- acquisition of private land
- regeneration of a permanent pond
- management and recovery of meadows, wetland vegetation and riparian forest
- adequacy of itineraries and viewpoints for public use
As a result of this project took shape the current state of Lake Sils. Subsequently there have been several improvements awareness activities.