Benimantell

The estate is in the area of Secretari, between the Arc and the Xarquer valleys, within the boundaries of Benimantell, although it is nearer to the village of Sella, from which access is gained. More precisely, it is in the mountainous sector of the ranges of Aitana and Puig Campana, where the highest peaks in the province of Alicante can be found. The estate forms part of a wide mountainous area declared a Place of Community Interest (LIC “Aitana-Serrella-Puig Campana”), an Area of Special Protection for Birds (ZEPA “Montañas de la Marina”) and Green Belt of Special Protection ( Suelo no urbanizable de Especial Protección). The plot is at the end of a small narrow valley, next to the Goleró pass, a spectacular ravine which has served for centuries as a communication pass between the Arc and the Xarquer valleys.

On the plot, which is almost 5 hectares and situated at an altitude of between 550 and 650 m., we can find a wide variety of landscapes (cultivated terraces,rocky areas, ravines and wooded shaded areas) which generate environments made different by the type of soil, the depth, the capacity to retain water, exposure to the sun etc. A multitude of environments with positive effects on biodiversity. So, in the plot's floral catologue we can find species as diverse as the manna ash, the evergreen oak, the laurel, the strawberry tree, the viburnum, the fan palm, the olive, the buckthorn, the broom, the juniper, etc. At the same time, it is worth pointing out the importance of the terraces, which occupy a large part of the estate, and other things of cultural value, such as an old irrigation canal, a historic path and a small country house, all of which reinforce its landscape and cultural value. The majority of the plot basically makes up a great cultivated area built on mountain terraces, with little dry stone walls.

The mountain terraces are agricultural systems with two objectives, to maintain and improve the soil for cultivation and favour the “harvesting” of scarce water resources. It is the traditional cultivation system most used in the mountains of the Mediterranean area, especially in rocky areas of the Comunidad Valenciana, and particularly in the Andalucian mountains of Alicante. This system has been abandoned for decades because it is not economically viable, which is putting at risk a cultural landscape which the European Union has recently defined as one of the most valuable in all of the Mediterranean area.

Fundem has reached a guardianship agreement with the general objective of preserving the system of terracing. To achieve this, there are two main lines of action:

  1. Recovery of the productive function; carrying out tasks linked to the safeguarding of the terraces and the recovery and production of the forest and agriculture.
  2. Development of a cultural/social function: education, research and dissemination. It is a broad educational project, which ranges from education about the dry stone landscape, to the passing on of knowledge about the crops, the use of water, the production of forest species, the construction of dry stone walls, the recovery of the traditional architecture, silviculture, etc.

Cadastral data:

Zone: Date land registry: Value € Area: Pol: Plot: Land registry reference
Secretari 20/11/2014 30.000 € 36.437 m2 5 34 03037A005000340000DQ

 

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