El Parc del Foix. A unique setting.
Castellet i La Gornal is situated between the districts of Alt Penedès, Garraf and Baix Penedès, equidistant from Vilafranca del Penedès, Vilanova i la Geltrú and El Vendrell.
The Foix reservoir, located in the centre of the municipality, bestows our territory with some particular and unique characteristics.
Its water level has remained high and stable, which has favoured the growth of typical wetland and bankside vegetation, where a very varied fauna has become progressively established, the most outstanding elements of which are the birds. The Parc del Foix Consortium has the undertaking of protecting this wetland and conserving its biodiversity.
Birding in Penedès
Different habitats go to make up the characteristic landscape of the Park: the reservoir and the River Foix are the most characteristic elements, surrounded by gallery woodland and reedbeds.
The vine is the most extensive crop, cohabiting with almond and olive trees
Maquis covers a large area, with smaller areas of pinewood and to a lesser degree Evergreen Oak.
This natural diversity enables a large number of animal species to make their home here.
More than 200 species of birds have been recorded:
- Sedentary species, which can be seen throughout the year and which breed in the area.
- Summer migrants which arrive in the spring and leave in the autumn. They also tend to breed in the Park.
- Winter visitors arrive in the autumn and leave in early spring.
- Migratory or passage birds, those which migrate from one place to another. They may well stop over for some time in the winter or the summer, or this may just be a place on their migratory route between breeding and wintering areas.
The vineyard landscape
The landscape of Penedès is one of the most characteristic agrarian landscapes in Catalunya. Its Mediterranean climate permits numerous varieties of high quality grape to be grown.
It is wide, open, with a mosaic of vineyards separated by stone walls, rows of olive or almond trees, with farmhouses and wine cellars scattered over the whole area. Brooks and streams give shape to small tracts of gallery woodland.
Vineyards are cut into the lower slopes of the mountains thanks to the construction of terraces and dry stone walls bordered by woodland marking their limits. There are even some small islands of vineyards within the woodland itself. We can also find frequent dry stone cabins, used as shelter for farmers during bad weather. The landscape changes progressively with the seasons, green in the spring and summer, and every shade of brown in the autumn and winter.