The Pederobba Heronry
It is found within the network of Natura 2000 being a Zone of Special Protection: “Fiume Piave dai Maserot alle grave di Pederobba”. It lies within an area of high naturalistic value between Treviso province and Belluno where the Piave river flows into the area of the foothills.
The riverbed here is characterised by wide expanses of gravel and riverine woods dominated by poplar and willow with sparse undergrowth of false indigo bush and buddleia. There is terracing covered by herbaceous vegetation, typical of “magredi” – expanses of gravel and pebbles.
The area is surrounded by 2 water courses: the river Piave, torrential in character, and the slow-flowing springs of the fountains of San Giacomo. The whole covers an area of 163 hectares. The LIPU reserve occupies the central wood of 6 hectares and is where herons nest. The nests are in mature trees of varying heights from 4-5 to 10-15 metres.
Habitat and species
The environment can be divided into 4 habitats: springs, riverine woods, gravel beds and willow-poplar thickets. Beyond the reserve several of the neighbouring zones are interesting and are part of the guided visits carried out by LIPU volunteers every year. There is the magnificent natural amphitheatre of the Treviso pre-alps and the Monfenara walls (Massiccio del Monte Grappa) where the Peregrine falcon can be seen and, in the winter months, a large flock of Ravens. At times Golden Eagles appear.
At the fountains of S. Giacomo, where dippers and moorhens nest it is possible to see Kingfishers, sandpipers and sometimes Penduline Tits.
Passing over the gravel of the bed of the Piave river you can see the rare Goosander and different species of heron: Grey Heron, Little Egret, Black-crowned Night Heron and Little Bittern. Although they don’t breed there Great White Egret can be seen in winter and Purple Heron during the summer dispersion.
There are also waders such as Common and Wood Sandpipers and Little Ringed Plover.
A small colony of Bee-eaters has nested in the past in the sandy banks. Also present are Honey Buzzard, Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawk and, during migration, Osprey, Red-footed Falcon and White and Black Storks. In total, up to 2013, LIPU volunteers had counted 121 species
The varying habitats support the presence of mammals such as Red Fox, Badger, Weasel, Squirrel, Roe Deer and other deer which can be seen mostly at dusk.
Services and facilities
Visits start from the Visitor Centre called “The City of Herons” and dedicated to the memory of a LIPU activist, Lorenzo Orsato. It is situated within the restored building of the old railway station and now has a video room, a diorama, a library and a museum and a permanent photographic exhibition of two Important Bird Areas called Garzaia di Pederobba and Monte Grappa. There are meeting rooms and toilets.
Outside is an educational garden with a pond and a large car park from where the nature paths leave. These comprise a circuit of 6km equipped with teaching panels leading to the LIPU reserve, near which there are 2 picnic sites with a panoramic view of the area.
In the vicinity
From Pederobba a road leads to the south slope of Monte Grappa, a wonderful mountain, rich in biodiversity. It is also a viewpoint over the Veneto plain with horizons beyond the Venice lagoon and the Gulf of Trieste.
Like the Piave river Monte Grappa was important during the First World War. Another place of note is Asolo, among the most beautiful historic centres in Italy. Here LIPU carries out its camp monitoring raptor migration in August.
near the Piave River, the reserve is in the municipality of Pederobba just beyond the village in the direction of Feltre.
Public openings: The best times to visit are spring and summer for the nesting of the herons and observation of migratory species which often stop to feed before passing over the Alps.
Access to the paths is free and open all year but you should stay on the marked path. It is always forbidden to enter the nesting area for conservation reasons. The visitor centre is open for bookings for guided visits for schools and groups. Leaflets about the reserve are always available.
How to get there:
From Treviso SR 348 Feltrina in the direction of Feltre
From Padua SR 308 to Castelfranco then SP 667 to Cornuda to join the SR 348 to Feltre
From Pederobba on the SR 348 turn right to “Stazione Ferroviaria Lipu Centro Visite”
From Feltre SR 348 for Treviso