Altimetry: h min 235m asl - h max 435m asl
The Statute of the Park Authority (PDF - 43 Kb)
The main environmental feature of Pineta di Appiano Gentile e Tradate Park is the presence of non-stop and large woodlands, standing out in the
larger upper-plain strip, where most of the territory has been subject
to drastic changes because of the human presence.
The proximity of big towns and of the conurbation of Gallarate, Busto Arsizio, and Legnano, the presence of an articulated road network (the area of the Park is served by two highways linking Milan to Varese and Como), and the proximity of railway lines make this green area one of the most exploited.
From a morphological point of view, the Park can be defined as a plain formed by morainic deposits originating from the different glaciations and is characterized by two main aspects: an area strongly characterized by small valleys with a north-south pattern in the southern and western sections and an area with a gentler altimetric pattern in the northern and eastern sections. The woodland covers about the 85% of the Park territory, while agricultural areas cover the 10% of the whole protected area.
The vegetation mainly consists of the moorland characterizing Lombardy, which is dominated by Scotch Pine forming pure or mixed woods and, in the latter, growing together with Ash tree, Chestnut tree, Black Locust tree, Hornbeam, Birch, Elm, Maple, above all on the most ancient moraines made of clayey soil rich in iron oxide and hydroxide.
The historical events and the high degree of fragmentation of the estate led to the formation of woodlands characterized by irregular features. The planting of exotic arboreal species and of arboreal species with a high-level production of timber like the Black Locust tree, the White Pine, and the Red Oak influenced the natural development of the woodlands.
The past hunting activity, the urban pressure, the lack of permanent watering sources limit the potentialities of the territory as far as the wildlife is concerned. The Park avifauna consists of many different species: 96 species have been recorded during the year, out of which 58 are nesting species. The presence of 4 species of nesting diurnal birds of prey is rather important (Northern Goshawk, Honey Buzzard, Sparrow Hawk, Buzzard, Kestrel): they share the reproduction environment with other species of great naturalistic interest for their current thinning out and their interesting ecology, like the Nightjar, the Golden Oriole, and the Crested Tit.
Together with the human beings living in the plain, there are surprising forms of life forming the Park wildlife.
The most known are the Vertebrates, but we must not forget the multitudes of Insects and Microorganisms living in the soil of the woodland, the Bio-reducers. Such name defines the main dismounting and recycling activity of the organic substance led by this army of small consumers: their interesting job brings vital substances and energy into the cycle of the food chain.
For a more thorough knowledge of the flora of the Park, it is necessary to distinguish between real and potential vegetation, that is the flora that would grow in an environment if there were no troubles caused by human actions and if the climate maintained constant.
Within Pineta Park there are large woodlands alternating with, and often surrounded by, strips of rural fields. This "leopard's spots" distribution is very important, since it creates contact areas between woodlands and fields, where the wildlife can find nourishment and shelter.