This lies to the south-west of Barcelona, a short journey from
the city. It is rounded in form, a result of marine erosion that is occurring at
an approximate rate of 1 metre a year. The rich soil is intensively used for horticulture. Recent years have seen valuable farmland lost to the
expansion of the Zona Franca tariff-free industrial park and the growth of
Barcelona’s airport, El Prat. The area also contains a refuse recycling plant.
The heavily polluted river has been diverted and channelised to
allow for industrial expansion and a further diversion is planned to allow for
the expansion of the airport. Sea water incursions are contaminating the
aquifers in the area.
The area contains sand dunes suitable for vegetation succession
studies and there are a number of salt and fresh water lagoons managed and
preserved as a nature reserve. Visitor management and controlled grazing by
horses are the main management techniques. The area forms a valuable wintering
ground for many migratory species of birds and provides habitats for a number of
rare orchid species.