Restoring the silence in the natural reserve of La Fageda d’en Jordà, Catalonia
Natural Park Volcanic Zone la Garrotxa, CataloniaJune 2013
The managers of the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park have asked the Silene Association to collaborate with the task of restoring silence to the Fageda d’en Jordà natural reserve. A range of strategic actions are planned for the coming years aimed at returning the silence to this beech forest.
The intention of this initiative is to enable the nearly 500,000 visitors that come to this flagship nature reserve every year to enjoy the atmosphere that inspired the famous Catalan poet Joan Maragall. In his poem, this beech forest is presented as a place where visitors can enjoy deep intimate experiences when immersed in the forest’s captivating and beautiful atmosphere. Similar experiences in other protected areas in Europe stress the need to preserve or restore silence to allow visitors to enjoy a full, rich and intense experience.
To return the tranquillity to the forest will require a number of different actions, from the construction of physical screens to reduce the impact of the nearby road, to actions aimed at reducing the noise associated with various kinds of visitors (on foot, horse-drawn carriages, on horseback or bikes) via a series of education and outreach strategies targeting each group. This also implies the inclusion of the value of silence in the training of natural park managers, nature guides, tour companies and other tourist partners. The implementation of the actions proposed by this project is expected to begin in 2013 with the support of the Girona Provincial Council and the Social Work of “La Caixa”.