Environmental resources

The environment of the historical region of Marmilla has been strongly transformed by human interference. The cultivation of cereal has been practiced in the region since ancient times and has greatly contributed to defining the relationship between man and its environment, to the extent that it is inconceivable to consider one without the other. The boundary between nature and culture in this area is blurred, but the traces of a long history can be seen in the fragmentation of farmland, the branching of a stream or the disposition of the olive groves on the steep slopes of a hill. Man's hands have left their mark in the shape of the trees and the taste of the fruit. It is obvious how easy it is for a crop to be absorbed by the forest or for a path to be covered by bushes when men do not intervene.

In rural areas around the villages, located at the foot of the plateau, the distinction between the domestic and the wild is uncertain, especially when it comes to animals. This is true in the case of the famous Giara horses and their relationship with men, who have been catching, marking, using, and releasing these horses throughout the centuries.

A similar situation can be seen in the relationship between the protection and use of areas that were inaccessible for cultivation. Even if they cannot be considered to be productive areas, local people have been using them for herding as well as a source of game, cork, and wood. These spaces have been naturally preserved due to their physical characteristics.

The SCI (Site of Community Importance) of “Giara di Gesturi” is currently presented as a nature reserve. Among its most characteristic natural resources are the forests of corks and oaks, the paùlis, which are temporary ponds which are unique ecosystems, the scalas, which are natural paths that give access to the plateau, and streams that flow across the slopes or form beautiful waterfalls. In particular, it is worth mentioning Cracchera Park in Sini, the beautiful waterfall of Su Strumpu, the wellspring of Mitza Salamessi in Tuili, and the forest of Su Padenti in Albagiara. The sites of scientific interest of Genna Manna - Muru ’e Cubeddu in Nureci, Duidduru in Genoni, and the volcanic emission centers of Zeppara Manna in Genoni and Zepparedda in Tuili can also be included.

 

The Majori River runs through the cork oak forest, which is on the hill of Su Padenti in the territory of Albagiara. The Giara can be accessed from this location, and there is also a picnic area for visitors to use.

Cracchera Park, which is located near the town of Sini, is at the foot of the Giara. It was founded in 1982 in an area covered with dense vegetation consisting of oak and cork trees. The network of paved roads and small stone buildings, some of which are still used by shepherds as livestock shelters, attest to the close relationship that has always connected the forest and the inhabitants of Sini.

On this side of the Giara, you can enjoy a breathtaking view. Moreover, during periods of heavy rain, it is possible to admire the Su Strumpu Waterfall.

Within walking distance from the park, there are some of the most important nuraghes in the region, including Sedda, Pedrosu, Bucca Scala, and Scab’i Ois. These nuraghes demonstrate the strategic importance that this place used to have during the earliest periods of history.

Among the most important natural elements in the Site of Community Importance (SCI) of “Giara di Gesturi”, the monumental trees are undoubtedly the most unique. Not only do they bring together two very different terms in a single expression, but they also help to tell the history of this region. The height of these trees due to their slow growth and their shadow projected on the ground since time immemorial have turned them into silent witnesses of the centuries.

The olive trees placed in Su Cungiau de Is Olias are among the monumental trees that are worth mentioning. They are within the Park of Old Trees located near the village of Sini. One of them stands out for two reasons: it is the largest in the region of Oristano, and it was already alive when the Pisans arrived in the fourteenth century.

Getting to the park is simple: follow Via Uliveto until the intersection with Via Nuova at the end of the village. Then take Via Argiolas, which leads to the place where the great patriarch extends its branches.

 

 

Located near the relief of Sa Zepparedda, Paùli Maiori di Tuili is the largest water body in the Giara. It is surrounded by forests of cork trees and many other smaller paùlis.

Having a maximum depth of about 1.3 meters, it is characterized by its relatively deep water, which retains water in the central areas of the pond throughout the year. It is a precious resource for the Giara horses, since the paùlis are the only source of refreshment from the summer heat.

The temperature varies seasonally from 0 to more than 30 degrees Celsius. The salinity, however, remains constant even after the water has evaporated.

The spring landscape is colored by the blooming of Ranunculus aquatilis and Baldellia ranunculoides.

The highest point of the Giara, which rises about 20 meters above the surface of the plateau, is the result of the consolidation of a river of lava. This lava supposedly came from a flattened volcanic cone, which can be seen in the Mount Zepparedda volcanic emission center (609 meters). The point, located in the territory of Tuili, is covered by dense oak forests. The lavas are composed of hypocrystalline-subalkaline basalt stones, which date back to the Pliocene Epoch. In the center of emission, the crater wall is vaguely recognizable. It has a central depression with typical blocks of scoriaceous lava inside, probably related to the phenomena of partially-active volcanoes.

 

 

 

 

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