The Statute of the Consortium (PDF - 160Kb)
Groane Park is a regional protected area with a surface
of 3,400 hectares within the metropolis of Milan. Among houses,
palaces, and industries the last oak and Scotch pine woods survive; at
the end of the summer huge moorlands are covered with flowers; old
furnace ruins characterize the territory with their brick walls;
ancient noble villas remind with their gardens the past times.
The Regional Park was established in 1976 according to the will of the Municipalities and Regione Lombardia, and since 1984 it has a regulation controlling the use of the areas, in harmony with the preservation of nature, agriculture, and tourism. The natural reserves lying within the area represent sites of community interest. All this is situated inside the town, among the traffic and the bustling activities.
Groane Park is managed by a Consortium created among the Municipalities and the Province of Milan. The Consortium buys the lands of the Park, reforests the spoil areas, improves the woods, and protects nature. Consorzio Parco Groane has also created a net of cycling routes along which it is possible to enjoy the nature without going too far from the city.
Groane Park covers the most continuous and important semi-natural land of the upper plain of Lombardy, in the north-west of Milan. It is a particularly interesting moorland territory from a geological point of view, made by clayey strata with an environmental and floristic specific nature.
The oak woods
They are the oldest woods in the Park, with their imposing British oaks and sessile oaks alternating with birches, maples, white hornbeams and, in the coolest areas, ash trees. Here the most interesting fauna lives: foxes, squirrels, great spotted woodpeckers, dormice, kestrels, long-eared owls, and many other animals which can be sighted if you are patient and quiet.
are wide prairies characterized by a little shrub called brugo or calluna, a kind of heath which, at the end of August, bursts into pink bloomings; together with this heath there are wonderful flowers like the gentian and the buttercup, rare willow species, young birches and, in the stagnant water the rushes. In the Park there are the last moorlands of the territory surrounding Milano, in Castellazzo, in the Woods of Cesate, in Cà del Re, and in the Plateau of Seveso.
are widely-spaced Scotch pinewoods, situated above all in Cesate. They were planted by the foresters in the 18th century: with this tree, the technicians of MariaTeresa from Austria hoped to be able to dominate the clayey ground.
In fact, the pinewood survives, even if in hard conditions because of which more than 20-year-old trees no longer develop and begin to wither. They are gradually replaced by oak woods.
The woods of the Park are populated by several mammals and birds, some of which are very rare.
If you are patient, it is possible to observe squirrels, weasels, and foxes; moreover, great spotted woodpeckers, hoopoes, titmice, chaffinches, herons, little bitterns; buzzards and kestrels are common, while the honey buzzards are more difficult to sight. During the night, the Park is populated by long-eared owls, little owls, and tawny owls. Among the amphibians there are several species of frogs and the rare great crested newt.
Further information (Italian text)
The origin of Groane, like the origin of the whole Po Plain, dates back to the last geological epoch - the Neozoic or Quaternary period.
As a matter of fact, during the Tertiary period, the whole Po Plain was covered by water. The Quaternary epoch consisted into two periods: the most ancient period called Pleistocene (also "diluvium") and a more recent one, the Holocene period, also called "alluvium", continuing in the present.
Further information (Italian text)
Groane are a particularly interesting moorland territory from a geological point of view, made by clayey strata with an environmental and floristic specific nature. Their name probably derives from the hard soil, not suitable for cultivation, which formed during the prehistorical epoch when the wind deposited the "loes", a sort of stratum made of some meters of clay, sand, silt (detritus).