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Natural treasure

Ascó’s natural treasures are headed by the Ebro River, along with other really important natural spaces like l’Illa de l’Ebre, el Pas de l’Ase or the mountain range of Pàndols i Cavalls.

In Ascó we find different natural and landscape elements of great beauty and with a high ecological value, like el Pas de l’Ase or l’Illa de l’Ebre.

El Pas de l'Ase

El Pas de l’Ase is one of the most beautiful locations in the south of Catalonia. It is a small canyon, around 4km long, caused by one of the foothills of the inner branches of the Catalan Pre-littoral mountain range, cut off by the Ebro between the Ascó, Vinebre and Garcia municipalities, also in the region of the Ribera d’Ebre at only around 85km from its mouth.

The Ebro opens its way between mountains, sculpting the mountain range of Pàndols i Cavalls and forming exceptional natural surroundings, where the wildest nature is shown in all its splendour. For this reason, the environment of el Pas de l’Ase was declared Space of Natural Interest and spreads from el Pic de l’Àguila, to the south of the strait of el Pas de l’Ase, to the mountain range of la Figuera.

In el Pas de l’Ase, the presence of the Ebro River allows the appearance of riverside vegetation, formed by poplar groves and tamarellars. At the same time, the ecological values are recognised also by its role as biological connector between the Montsant and the mountain ranges of Pàndols I Cavalls and els Ports.

Bladé i Desumvila imagined the effort that crossing the mountain range of the Tormo would have meant for the Ebro: «Per a excavar el camí actual, li va caldre foradar un estrep de la serra de la Llena i obrir la gorja del Pas de l’Ase, entre el Puig dels Mugrons i la Roca del Sol, que arriben, bessones, a una altura d’uns 300 metres. Potser algun cataclisme produí l’enfonsament i facilità el pas actual de riu.» (Bladé, 1983: p. 17).

Despite everything el Pas de l’Ase, besides its natural and landscape values, has always been a strategic location for commercial connexions, as is proven by the numerous archaeological sites of different periods we can find showing the historical importance this passage had as a communication node between the two sectors of the Ebro River in general.

L'illa de l'Ebre

L’Illa d’Ascó is one of the most complex spaces of the wetlands of les Illes de l’Ebre. It is located at the south of the village, near the old town on the right riverbank of the Ebro. It occupies 2.3 hectares of surface. It is a small island which houses a tamarellar of Tamarix canariensis and T. Africana well structured, open and illuminated. It also has isolated stands of poplars (Populus alba) and white willow (Salix alba).

The ensemble of the fluvial islands in the Ebro represent a series of bridge biotopes which favour the journey of multiple birds from the wetlands, from littoral marshes – mostly the Ebro delta –, to the interior of the Iberian Peninsula. As there is a very similar environmental problem, it might be advisable to question global management and preservation measures.