Friends of Inland Salt Flats
Funding support: Project-based (public authorities, trusts)
Number of staff: 2
Number of visitors per year: 500
Overall aims of the centre
Protection, research, sound use and dissemination of the natural and cultural heritage of saltscapes
Description of the centre
Site is 12,5 ha, protected within Natura 2000 as Site of Community Interest ES0000165 and Special Birds Protection Area ES0000165. Also regional protection status (Microrreserva de los saladares del río Salado) and national protection status as monument (Good of Cultural Interest Salinas de Imón).
Main species of interest are Scorzonera parviflora and Glaux maritima, this site represents their westernmost, highest and most contiental distribution location. Natura 2000 sheets enclosed. Other species of interest are the endangered Artemia salina, microbial halophiles in general and halophytes which are usually found at coastal sites but not at 400 km from the sea at 1,000 m alt.
Main CEPA work areas
Guided visits, lectures on site and off-site, publications (books, leaflets, documentary), meetings with stakeholders and authorities
Top three successes
-Publications (work well because they are usually welcome by all stakeholders involved and are easy to disseminate).
-Guided visits are very successful because of the site’s magnificent heritage.
-Agreement with a local hotel and with the local tourist office to provide information and contact
Top three challenges
-Meetings with stakeholders have proved fruitless. The region is demographically poor but very rich in natural and cultural resources, so financing is a problem (especially now that this particular region is bankrupt). Many different authorities are involved (both from a vertical as from a sectorial point of view) and are not used to cooperate. Our organization is too small to be able to lobby effectively.
-Guided visits are becoming a challenge, as the owner of the site (a private company) is becoming reluctant to have them. Without the owner’s cooperation, it is also impossible to signpost the site or prepare information/interpretation panels, even less an information/interpretation centre.
-Site is being abandoned and the buildings are collapsing, making the visits more dangerous and less rewarding
Producing written materials
Engaging young people; Engaging the local community; Working with volunteers
Education and communication
Delivering adult education; Lobbying / running campaigns; Developing resources / materials
PR and marketing; Running effective administration; Fund-raising; Project planning