The Blue Lake and the Briantea Moorland Park

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

The Blue Lake is located within the Briantea Moorland Park, between the provinces of Milan and Como, on the territories of the municipalities of Cabiate, Lentate sul Seveso, Meda, Mariano Comense, Carimate, Cermenate, Novedrate, Figino Serenza, Carugo and Brenna. It was created in 1983, to safeguard the flora and fauna of the area, and it has been part of the Groane Park since June 2018. Today it extends over 6.400 acres.

The park takes its name from the moorland, which was once typical on Lombardy plains; today, it hardly survives only on very poor soils. On the highest terraces, there are oaks, chestnut trees, Scots pines and birchwood. On the lower ones, the woods mostly feature oaks, cherry trees, hornbeams, limes, ashes, and field maples. In the wetter areas, there are elms and black alders. Much of the park woods are full of black locusts, an exotic species of North American origin. Red oaks, also from North American, is also widespread, following recent extensive reforestation.

When and where the quarrying activity stopped, a forest of pioneering species was created using aspen poplars, willows, birchwood, black locusts, Scots pines and English oaks – after all, the latter usually evolve from a previous moorland environment.

Inside the park, in the municipality of Lentate sul Seveso, there is a wonderful small lake, “Lago Azzurro”, a resting and nesting place for countless birds, and a wondrous expanse of pink water lilies in the summer.

Among the nesting birds, there are honey buzzards, common buzzard, probably Hobbies, the barn owls, long-eared owls, European nightjars, kingfishers, Eurasian hoopoes, melodious warblers, Eurasian golden orioles and the yellowhammers. Some birds spend the winter here, as garganeys, marsh harriers, water rails, common snipes, river nightingales and great grey shrikes. Penduline tits are also abundant.

Among the mammals, there are water shrews, Miller’s water shrews, long-eared bats, Garden dormice, harvest mice, badgers and, most probably, some skunks.
Due to the particular pedological situation, with shallow, medium and large clay basins – due to the excavation works and small streams embedded in the alluvial terrace, the park is rich in amphibians, including the spotted newts, agile and European frogs. Reptiles live in the non-wooded or shrubby heaths with large clearings, including lizards, green lizards, and green whip snakes. Slow worms, Aesculapian snakes, and common vipers are quite difficult to see, as they usually dwell, along with other similar animals, in the most secluded areas of this park.

During the summer, grass snakes looking for tadpoles are abundant in the pools and the ponds.
The park is easily reachable by the Milano-Meda motorway (Lentate sul Seveso) or the Nuova Vallassina A-Road (Verano Brianza exit), following the signs to Mariano Comense.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


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