The perfectly aligned vineyards in green and ochre and the wide cereal fields that appear on the horizon, shining bright gold under the sun of the plateau, must surely be one of the defining images of la Ribera del Duero. However, this landscape of the high plateau that suddenly gives way to tilled land is more than just a landscape. It is where nature competes against the character of its inhabitants in an austere and sober setting.
The landscape of la Ribera del Duero contains treasures, as if enclosed within a chest formed of fertile clods of clay and limestone, tree-filled gardens that are dotted around the area: its forests, some small and some extremely large, where Scots pines, holm oaks, dyer’s oaks, pitch pines, creeping junipers and spreading junipers all grow.
Also worth mentioning are the forests of la Ribera, which, fed by the great River Duero and its tributaries , could not be any less splendid than the current that gives them their name. Those which adorn and give a green border to the courses of the Duero and the Riaza, as well as being the largest, are also a major sanctuary for many forest birds of prey and other bird species, as well as roe deer, martens, wild boars and otters.
Away from the murmur of the main river currents, and frightened away by the agricultural activity that for centuries has defined the economy of these lands, the open spaces of Ribera del Duero are concentrated on the borders of the region and constitute a natural habitat for wolves, mountain cats and badgers. In these forest areas, and also in various rocky outcrops, there are royal, booted and short-toed eagles and peregrine falcons, griffon vultures and Egyptian vultures. The plateaux of Cerrato (in the northeast) and of Casanova (in the southeast) form the ideal habitat for steppic birds, with the presence of gangas, little bustards, southern lapwings, black-bellied sandgrouse and even great bustards.
However, as we have stated earlier, it is without doubt the river arteries that give life to la Ribera del Duero. The River Riaza makes its way down from the ravines that hide its source to nourish beautiful groves where alders, black poplars and willows grow, forming tree-lined corridors that host a great quantity and variety of birds and fauna and which give access to more northern birds, such as the common thrush and the red-backed shrike.
The Ribera of the River Riaza LIC (Site of Community Importance) is located in the district. The district also contains part of three more LIC’s: Riberas del Río Duero and Tributaries, Montes del Cerrato and Sabinares del Arlanza. These are also part of the ZEPA area, a natural area for which work is under way for its declaration as a Natural Park. We should also mention the “Lagunas de Valcabadillo” of Tubilla del Lago, and the vulnerable Dupont’s lark species which can be found in Casanova (part of Peñaranda de Duero) and in the area of Páramo de Corcos.
Nature 2000 Network
Espacio Natural Protegido
Otras zonas de interés
“Las Loberas” Ecomuseum in Caleruega
A few old sheepfolds that are owned by Caleruega town council have been restored to become a Nature Interpretation Centre.
The Caleruega Ecomuseum is intended to become an Environmental Interpretation Centre, an Ethnographic Museum and a Cultural Meeting Point. It is located in la Ribera del río Duero next to the foothills of la Sierra de la Demanda.
The Ecomuseum is located at the “Las Rozadas” site, in ancient wolves’ dens, an item of ethnographic importance as they are representative of traditional sheep farming buildings.
How to get there
The “Las Loberas” Ecomuseum is located on the PRC-BU 69 route, Sendero de las Loberas.
To visit the Ecomuseum just go to the Bar La Plaza, the Las Peñas Rural Tourism Centre, the Hotel el Prado in Las Merinas, or call the Town Hall. The phone number is 947 53 40 05.
Oxígeno Foundation, 947 25 67 52
Caleruega Town Hall, 947 53 40 05
WetlandsIn this section we will endeavour to provide an inventory of the various lakes, pools, ponds etc. that exist throughout our region. They may be for agricultural use, of natural origin, the result of gravel excavation, recoveries, etc. These water spots, whether natural or artificial wetlands, are of certain interest. They not only contribute to the survival of the nearby vegetation, but they also help fauna to survive as they can be used to preserve, protect and even strengthen certain populations of wild species.
|Arauzo de Salce Campillo de Aranda: Charca La Poza / El Palomar Fuentecén Fuentelcésped: Las Navas de la Dehesa Guma Hoyales de Roa Moradillo de Roa: Las Tenadas Roa Pinilla-Trasmonte San Martín de Rubiales Tórtoles de Esgueva: Presa El Vallejo Tubilla del Lago: Lagunas de Valcabadillo Vadocondes Villalba de Duero: Humedales del Carrascall|
Fuentelcésped: Las Navas (The Plains) of la Dehesa
There are numerous areas in Fuentelcésped that take this name, since “nava” was the name given in ancient times in Castile to the lower areas of land that were temporarily flooded.
Two plains have been recovered within the La Dehesa area, one in the Carremolino area and the other in Cerro de Valderrey. Both form part of the La Dehesa self-guiding “interpretive path”, which is signposted and has helpful information panels.
On the plains of la Dehesa it is a pleasure to watch the life that is supported and maintained by the water. The water from the pond is used as a bathing area and as a watering hole by the wild fauna that inhabits or spends part of its life cycle in the area.
For further information: www.ladehesadefuentelcesped.com Phone number of the Fuentelcésped Town Hall: 947 55 73 08
Tórtoles de Esgueva: El Vallejo Reservoir
The “El Vallejo” reservoir was created in 1984 and is promoted by Tórtoles de Esgueva Town Council. Its basic purpose is to supply irrigation to 300 hectares of land, and, for this purpose, it has a capacity of 1.8 hm3. It is a wonderful spot for the sighting of various different species of birds and fauna.
The reservoir is managed by the irrigation association and good access to its surrounding areas is provided. To get there, take the road that leaves the C-619 A-road on the right, on the way to Aranda-Palencia, 2 km before the village.
For further information: Phone number of the Tórtoles de Esgueva Town Hall: 947 55 17 23
Tubilla del Lago: Lakes of Valcabadillo
Since the end of 2007 we have been able to enjoy the recovery of an aquatic ecosystem in Tubilla del Lago, the Lakes of Valcabadillo.
The exercise was carried out on an area covering more than two hectares, at a location that has been declared an “Area for Public Use”. Its main purpose is not only to bring about a significant improvement in the landscape of the area, but also to provide a refuge for various aquatic birds. It can therefore be used as an ideal area for watching birds and fauna. A helpful information panel has been provided at the site. We recommend that you go there on foot or using non-motorised forms of transport.
We should also mention that fossilized vegetable remains were found during the restoration. Study of these remains will provide valuable information on the flora and fauna of la Ribera in bygone eras.
For further information: Reportaje “Recuperación de las Lagunas de Valcabadillo”, Burgos Rural, nº6 Phone number of the Tubilla del Lago Town Hall: 947 55 70 48
The Natural Area
“Sierra de la Demanda”
The Natural Area “Sierra de la Demanda” is located on the northeast border of our district.
The diversity of the landscapes is particularly outstanding. In its southeastern part, there are large limestone formations and long stretches of juniperus sabina. In the central part the beech and pinewoods dominate the scene on the steep, rugged land. In the middle we can find broad transition areas occupied by dense oak groves. Thanks to this orographic variety the fauna is very rich and abundant.
“Hoces del Río Riaza” Natural Park
The vegetation that lines the plateau is mainly steppic, dotted with trees that have adapted to the extreme conditions of this climate: juniperus sabinas, oak woods and some dyer’s oak trees. In contrast, the bottom of the valley is home to a very interesting river grove. Together with the spectacular landscape, the birds constitute the main feature of this fascinating site. The presence of limestone clumps in abundance on shelves, and hollows of all sizes, enables a rich variety of rock birds to settle there. Furthermore, the Linares del Arroyo reservoir has become the main area in the province for several species of water birds to spend each winter.
You can reach the Park from:
- The A-1, exit 144 (Milagros) and by taking the A-Road to Montejo de la Vega de la Serrezuela.
- Aranda de Duero, on the old N-I road, by taking the C-114 A-road at Fuentespina towards Fuentelcésped, arriving at Montejo de la Vega de la Serrezuela, where the you will find the Casa del Parque rural house, or at Maderuelo, where you can enter the reservoir of Linares.
Both towns have signposted tracks.
“Cañón del Río Lobos” Natural Park
To the east is the “Cañón del Río Lobos” Natural Park.
The Cañón del Río Lobos Natural Park is a unique biogeographic site formed on the axis of a deep canyon of sheer rock faces. Inside, as well as large woods of juniperus sabina and laricio pine trees, a great variety of animal species gathers. These include around one hundred griffin vultures. There are also royal eagles, Bonelli’s eagles, Egyptian vultures, falcons and red-shouldered hawks nesting in its inaccessible nooks. Among the mammals there are roe deer, wild boars, squirrels, otters, badgers and mountain cats.
Patrimonio Natural Junta de Castilla y León