Name of organisation
IHOBE, S.A. Public Company attached to the Department of the Environment and Territorial Policy. BASQUE GOVERNMENT
Department of Environment and Territorial Policy, BASQUE GOVERNMENT.
Number of staff
Number of visitors per year
Overall aims of the centre
- To promote the conservation and wise use of the wetland.
- To raise public awareness of the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
- To train and empower people to participate in the wise use and conservation of the wetland.
- Promote the participation and/or involvement of users in the conservation of the area.
- To enhance the value of the Txingudi marshes, interpreting their richness, beauty and uniqueness.
- To manage the control and monitoring of species, habitats and ecosystems of the Txingudi marshes.
- To support the objectives of education for sustainability of the Department of Environment and Territorial Policy of the Basque Government.
Description of the centre
The Txingudi Ekoetxea centre is located in the Txingudi marshes (Gipuzkoa), in the estuary of the river Bidasoa. This wetland is on the border between Spain and France, in the depression between the Pyrenees and the sea, in the middle of the Eastern Atlantic Flyway. It is therefore a refuge for migratory birds, both during the autumn and spring, as well as during the winter.
Txingudi stands out for its diversity of habitats registered in the Habitats Directive 92/43/CEE: 1 priority habitat (alluvial forests of Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior) and 8 habitats of community interest (estuaries, muddy or sandy plains, annual pioneer vegetation, spartina grassland, Atlantic salt grassland, Mediterranean and thermo-Atlantic halophilous scrubland, and poor low altitude meadows).
In these habitats we can find numerous species of catalogued flora and fauna, including the aquatic warbler (Acrocephalus paludicola), the common spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), the common toad (Bufo calamita) and the spiny fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus).
The Txingudi Ekoetxea centre has a surface area of 250m2 and receives an average of 16,800 visitors a year, of which 3,000 are schoolchildren. The centre, an observatory of one of the freshwater lagoons, has audiovisual equipment and interpretive panels on the history, evolution and diversity of the marsh and the migration of birds.
Main CEPA work area
- Quarterly newsletters, Brochures, Mini thematic guides, Books
- Press articles, Website
- Audio-visuals, Permanent and temporary exhibitions, Interpretive panels, Educational workshops, Conferences, Seminars, Technical seminars, Technical days, Interpretive panels
- Educational workshops, Conferences, Seminars, Seminars, Technical seminars, School didactic programme
- Self-guided itineraries, Guided tours, Celebrations of anniversaries, Volunteer activities
- Environmental monitoring (birds, habitats, waters, odonates)
Top three successes
The marshes of Txingudi have been extended enormously in historical times, having suffered directly from the effects of urbanisation and the occupation by transport infrastructures, which have been boosted by their border location. In spite of this, 76.8 hectares of marshland have been recovered in the last thirteen years.
During these years, a positive public perception of the area has been achieved. The citizens have gone from living with their backs to the wetland to valuing and enjoying it.
Currently, Txingudi has become a wetland of international importance: RAMSAR site recognition (2002); ZEPA Txingudi ES 0000243; ZEC Txingudi-Bidasoa ES 2120018.
Top three challenges
Elimination of sports infrastructures installed in the middle of the wetland.
Elimination of vandalism problems due to the proximity to the urban centre.
To achieve greater participation and awareness of local citizens in the conservation of the area.
Due to the cross-border nature of Txingudi, in 2010 a Framework Agreement for cross-border cooperation in environmental matters was signed between the general administration of the Basque Country and the permanent centre of Initiatives for the Basque Coastal Environment-CPIE- (France) in relation to Txingudi.
Create signage / information about the site; Produce written resources; Use audio-visual resources
Creating signage; site information; Producing written materials; Using audio-visual tools
Setting up a new visitor centre; Managing / creating habitat; Running a visitor centre; Building / maintaining structures
Working with people with disabilities; Engaging local people; Working with volunteers
Working with disabled people; Engaging the local community; Working with volunteers
Education and communication
Early years education; Delivering adult education; Working with primary schools; Lobbying / running campaigns; Working with secondary schools; Developing resources / materials
Nerea Azpeitia (Coordinator of environmental awareness projects in the Txingudi marshes), TXINGUDI EKOETXEA
Pierre Loti ibilbidea, 20304 Irun (Gipuzkoa) - Basque Country - SPAIN
Tel. 0034 943 619 389
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