Val di Mello
Val di Mello is the largest nature reserve in Lombardy. The progressive depopulation of mountain areas and the concomitant tourist surge have led to the abandonment of activities based on the mountain pasture economy. The area is suffering from the reduction of the most fragile habitats and biodiversity loss.
The Mello Valley is the largest nature reserve in Lombardy. It lies almost in the center of the Alpine chain, leaving Valtellina, heading north toward the Swiss border. The almost entirely low-lying valley floor is accessible to everyone. Indeed, there are many nature lovers who choose this valley to admire its beauty. We are talking about natural waterfalls, a stream, forests, and meadows that rise to caress the gray rock walls. The 4500 hectares of its territory, between the municipalities of Val Masino and Mello, in the province of Sondrio, are mountain territories one quarter covered by forests and partly protected as a Natura 2000 Site. The wide altitude range (between about 1000 and 3400 m a.s.l.) includes heterogeneous environments, valuable from a naturalistic point of view. Unfortunately, however, the gradual depopulation of mountain areas and the parallel overcrowding of tourism has led to the abandonment of activities related to the mountain pasture economy. The area is therefore suffering from the reduction of the most fragile habitats and the loss of biodiversity.
With this project on the one hand, the aim is to improve forest management and on the other to protect and enhance biodiversity. Special attention will be paid to habitats and species of community interest, starting with ecosystems on the valley floor, such as alder forests, which are endangered by the masses of tourists who flock to the areas on weekends. Reforestation and restoration of natural balances will make the Val di Mello forest strong and resilient.
This project is co-funded by the Lombardy Region’s Biodiversity and Climate Call (BioClima) and supported by Fondazione Cariplo. Bioclima is an initiative created within the framework of the Lombardy Plan and the LIFE GESTIRE 2020 project that aims to create public-private financing models to catalyze investment in biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation projects in Lombardy’s forests and protected areas.