Patronat de Turisme de la Diputació de TarragonaDiputació de Tarragona
Terres de l'Ebre 
© Joan Astor
© Joan Astor
© Àngel Pérez

RietVell

The Riet Vell Nature Reserve, is supported by SEO / BirdLife at the Ebro Delta

For SEO / BirdLife protecting the Ebro delta has been a priority. A campaign to defend the wetlands began in 1994 when a permanent office was opened. In 19977, after two years of research and debate, the Plan Delta XXI was introduced, which is a document of 100 pages summarizing assessments and giving innovative answers to a series of threats affecting the wetlands. In the same year a four year long programme called Life was introduced for experimental ecological rice cultivation, with excellent results.

With the experience gained from this, in 2001 SEO / BirdLife began what is now a strong, modern agriculture and conservation project at the Riet Vell Nature Reserve on the Ebro delta, of which they are co-owners. The reserve covers an area of 52 hectares combining ecological rice fields, a restored lagoon and El Clot, which is six hectares of rice fields which have been readapted for aquatic birds.

Thus, SEO / BirdLife have been pioneers in Spain in creating a management system showing that agriculture and conservation are compatible within the Red Natura 2000 (Nature Network2000). They have managed to increase biodiversity and improve the quality of the environment and surrounding countryside, apart from promoting rural development and ecological tourism in the area.

A Reserve which is open to the public and school groups.

The Reserve is open to all kinds of visitors, especially families wanting to get close to nature, observe wetland birds, traditional activities and rice fields, therefore games have been created as well as routes, a maze, an observatory for children and a variety of educational and leisure activities which are on offer at the Visitors Centre in the Barraca Tradicional (Traditional Cabin). There is a programme for schools comprising original activities for educating and transmitting knowledge on the wetlands, birds and sustainable traditions which have been adapted to the space available, and are destined to all ages. This programme is for groups who want to observe the birds up close, know about their migration, participate in a bird ringing, observe aquatic fauna or horses from the Camargue, make adobe walls or cover existing ones, play "birles" (a form of bowls) or walk barefoot in a rice field to plant, weed out or cut the rice in water. Arranged group visits are also welcomed, for those requiring a specific explanation on ecological rice, the Riet Vell project or conservation aspects of the Delta.

A luxury appointment for birdwatchers

Any fan of bird watching would enjoy the walk from the car park, along a route between the cabin and rice fields to the Swarovski observatory, a prime viewpoint over the lake, reed bed and rice fields at Riet Vell, where there is lots of information, and over the years thousands of tourists have visited to observe exceptional birds, feel in awe of their beauty or wonder over their behaviour. The lake at Riet Vell has been brought back to its full glory, and numerous birds can be observed there close-up the whole year round. Some of them are exclusive to the lake, such as the bittern or the spotted crake, others are emblematic like the purple swamp hen or flamingo, or there are spectacular nesting birds like the common tern, reed warbler or little bittern. To satisfy those who love taking photographs of birds, four separate photographic observatories are being built this year, in strategic places in the Reserve, next to the water, and will be in use this winter.

A Reserve with events, ornithological festivities and courses

One of the biggest attractions here are the events where enjoying nature just becomes a party, so apart from learning about it we also get an emotional lasting stimulus from it. There are always festivals on the Day of Wet Areas in February, the fabulous World Migratory Bird Day in October, plus the Mud Festival in November and the Natural and Cultural Diversity Festival in August just to name a few. There are activities especially for youngsters and childrens’ bird watching games on most holidays.

Coming activities:

17 August
Natural and cultural diversity festival in Ebro Delta
From de 10:00 h to 14:00 h
Traditional and nature activities.
Entry fee 1€
05
06
October
International Bird Day
From 10:00 h to 18:00 h
Bird watching and bird ringing activities, traditional and nature games.
Free admision.
17 November
Mud Festival
From 10:00 h to 14:00 h
Ploughing of the rice fields activities: traditional buildings, bird photography and watching, bird ringing, games in the nature, technical talks.
Entry fee 1€.
Ecological Paella (price to report soon).

Get to know the Ebro Delta with SEO / BirdLife

Visit the Riet Vell Nature Reserve and take part in numerous educational activities taking place throughout the year.

Contact:
Reserva Natural de Riet Vell
Carretera d'Amposta a Eucaliptus, km 18'5
43870 Amposta (Tarragona)
Tel: +34 616290246
reservarietvell@seo.org