The Reserve was only established in 2019 to protect the Scrivia stream, which in Castelnuovo still has a certain natural character, as opposed to the surrounding environment, which is almost exclusively agricultural and traditionally used to grow corn, irrigated crops, and poplars, often as far as the very stream bank.
The Scrivia has extensive pebbly banks, occupied by dry grassland and meso-xerophile shrubland of blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) and bloody dogwood (Cornus sanguinea). In the narrow strips of wood along the stream, white willows (Salix alba), black poplars (Populus nigra) and silver poplars (Populus alba) grow.
The protected area is home to the rare Himantoglossum adriaticum, an orchid listed in the Habitat Directive.
Over 180 species of birds have been observed on the site. The most interesting nesting birds are the stone-curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) that nests on the pebbly banks, the nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus), the red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio), the kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), the black kite (Milvus migrans), and the honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus).