The site

Val Bavona - Bavona Valley -, a deeply carved valley in the heart of the Alps, is a heritage site of extraordinary importance from the ethnographical and as well as from the environmental point of view.

The upper part of the valley is created by a wide Alpine landscape with big glaciers and an extremely species-rich flora. The landscape is completed by several beautiful mountain lakes and low moors of regional importance. The lower part of the valley shows the typical u-profile and the characteristic shape of the crystalline mountains from the Pennine period. A considerable part of the valley plain is covered by wetlands of national importance – a result of recurring floods.

The wild appearance of the valley is reinforced by impressive cliffs and the accumulation of giant rocks at the exits of the lateral valleys. The majestic waterfall of Foroglio creates fascinating natural scenery. The floodplain forests consist mostly of mixed deciduous forest although in some parts dominate ash, sweet chestnut, lime or birch.

The extensive farming areas which allow the conservation of the traditionally structured living spaces are especially remarkable. The characteristic anthropogenic landscape with mostly well preserved stone buildings is mostly intact.

Special characteristics of Bavona Valley are the so called “hanging gardens” which are situated on large rocks. Former settlers have been cultivating potatoes and other vegetables on these terraced fields to survive in a harsh rocky environment. Even nowadays many of the villages still don’t have electricity.

For its outstanding value the nature reserve is under state protection since more than one century.

Since 1990 Val Bavona Foundation in cooperation with Cevio Municipality, Bignasco and Cavergno village administrations and private persons takes care for the administration and the management of the region.

 

The project

Under the professional guidance of the work instructors of Val Bavona Foundation the participants carried out different tasks linked to the maintenance of the natural reserve as trimming shrubs, mowing the lawn and preparing dry stone walls for their later restoration.   

A special focus lied on an inventory of historical stone buildings and of objects in these buildings.

 

The project was organised by Workcamp Switzerland and Val Bavona Foundation, in partnership with European Heritage Volunteers.