El Prat de Cabanes Natural Park Visiting Centre:
I. de Acuicultura de Torre la Sal, Ribera de Cabanes 12595 – Phone: 964 319 777
Declared a Natural Park in 1988, the Prat de Cabanes, is also recognised Internationally, as it’s included on the International list of wetlands. This is the main wetland of the province of Castellón, with great importance for the Valencian Community’s natural heritage, with special ecological, geological and landscape characteristics. It borders both Torreblanca and Oropesa, and belongs to the municipalities of Cabanes and Torreblanca.
It’s an area of more than 800 hectares. There aren’t any streams or rivers, but instead fresh water springs which keep the area flooded all year round. The park is limited by the ranges of Sierra de les Santes and the Sierra de Irta. It’s separated from the sea purely by a line of pebbles and gravel, and also some areas of sandy beach.
This Natural Park is a fine example of natural resources being used sustainably. There is an orderly public use, which includes learning, studying, researching and also enjoying the lovely environment in a respectful way. Other activities that take place there are also being carried out in a way that will preserve the area, and these include animal breeding, fishing, hunting, mining activity which focuses on extracting peat and agriculture.
It can be split into three main parts, which are the coastal strip, the marshland and the salt marshes. The vegetation relates to these three zones, so you’ll see aquatic and semi-aquatic formations, floating plants and other plants that are native to the salt marsh.
The biggest colony of the collared pratincole in the Valencian Community is here in El Prat de Cabanes – it is an endangered species. Other birds to be seen are the moustached warbler, the Montagu’s Harrier, the little tern, the little bittern, the snowy plover, the black-winged stilt and the marbled duck. There are also fish such as the fartet and samaruc, and the crustracean – gambeta. You won’t see many mammals with the exception of rabbits, weasels and water rats, but you could see the European pond turtle, the common frog and viperine snakes.
Tips for visiting El Prat de Cabanes Natural Park sustainably
Try to come in small numbers, bearing in mind that this is a protected natural area and in order to help its preservation visitors should disturb it as little as possible. This also means that when visiting you should try to make as little noise as you can manage, and you shouldn’t leave the parts which have been marked out for you.
Never light fires, unless you’re in a permitted area to do so, don’t leave any rubbish and waste behind you or any signs of your visit. Always respect the plants and animals of the park