THE OASIS


The Agriculture Minister decree no. 74623 of 07/08/1970 has established the Fauna protection Oasis named Belvedere/Covigliaio in Firenzuola's district.

The Oasis has an extension of approximately 650 hectares, placed from the Raticosa pass to the Futa pass, at the border with Futa SS 65 road, touching Traversa, Covigliaio and Pietramala suburbs, including three of the most beautiful peaks in upper Mugello: Sasso di Castro, Monte Freddi and Monte Beni.

The territory structure is essentially woody with altimetries from 850 to 1200 m approximately a.s.l. The vegetation is composed by beech forests, oak forests and conifers. In the last one, the Douglas fir, the seedings of which have come from the United States in 1926, has been really successful both from a majesty and for a commercial point of view. Today these are higher than 50 m and they also can reach 8 square meters of valuable timber (7-8 tons). In this environment, the mouflon, which has been introduced in 1975, has found its natural habitat, as well as some other local animals as the hawk, the crested newt, a variety of shrimp called in Italy "gambero di fosso", the deer, the roe deers and the wolf.

Within this area the mountain pasture for cattles and equines has been developed and they create a favourable habitat for fauna and flora.
This area management has been, since the beginning, held by the Province. Recently, some works aimed to the achievement of environment improvements have been entrusted to Legambiente and Coldiretti Alto Mugello.

For its morphological features of an incredible naturalistic interest, Tuscany Region, at the end of the nineties, has recognised to the Oasis territory the value of Site of Community Importance, naming it Sasso di Castro/Montebeni. According to this area features the Natural Protected Area of Local Importance (ANPIL) has been established with an extension of 800 hectares approximately, which includes within its borders the SIC and the Oasis.

The ANPIL was inaugurated on 07/05/2011 on the occasion of the Little Districts of Italy holiday, with a guided tour from the Covigliaio suburb.

The cultivated areas, both internal and external to the ANPIL, are destined to pastures, grass-pastures, biological fodder and cereal plantings.

From the woody territory management, some biomasses are obtained which are used, according to a really short chain parameters, by the population living in this area. Moreover, two structures, a bed & breakfast and an agritourism, use the biomass in the form of woodchips for high efficiency boilers. The same structures are independent from an electric point of view as they are equipped with photovoltaic installations (11 and 28 kwp). In the little suburb of Covigliaio (approximately 100 inhabitants) a food outlet carries out some little vegetables and potatoes planting and sells directly its products. The agriculture productions of this area are mainly composed by potatoes, lettuces, courgettes, emmer, all almost uniquely biological.

It is fed by the emmer decorticated husk and by the wood biomass originated by woody cleaning activities in the surroundings.
The cattle meat breeding which takes place in the territory is also biological and the product is included in and transformed by an agricultural cooperative that commercializes its products directly in some outlets placed in the province of Florence.

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