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           The Campania Region of Italy     
  The WWF Oases in Campania             

The WWF (formerly World Wildlife Fund, now, in some countries, World-Wide Fund for Nature) is a large non-governmental organization
founded in 1961 and present in the Campania region of Italy since 1970. It works for the preservation, conservation and restoration of the natural environment. To that end, the organization has established a number of "Oases" in the world. There are about 100 of them in Italy and more than a dozen in Campania. Many of the areas had interesting histories before becoming WWF oases (ex. the Astroni crater in Naples was an old Bourbon Royal Hunting preserve). Some are bigger than others, but, big or small, they all specialize in making the public aware of the need to preserve nature. In many cases they are not totally separate entities but may find themselves within the confines of—and collaborate withregional parks or nature preserves. Some require stamina to walk through and some are easily accessible for all. They have trained staff and are equipped with instructional material and visual aids that explain the flora and fauna. They are generally well-equipped to handle such things as school field trips. Entrance fees are quite reasonable. These are 13 of the WWF Oases in Campania:

The Astroni Crater (photo, upper right), in the city limits of Naples in the suburb of Agnano. It's part of the Campi Flegrei, the Fiery Fields. Everything is an extinct volcanoor at least we hope they're extinct.   Details here.

The San Silvestro Woods (image, right), part of the original premises ofand now accessible fromthe grounds of the massive Caserta royal palace. Details here.

Lake Campolattaro, located 20 km /12 miles north of the city of Benevento.  The area of the lake is 1000 hectares/2500 acres. The lake is an artificial body of water created on the alluvial plain of the Tammaro river. It has been a protected area since 2003. Details here.

Camerine Woods, located in the town of Albanella, on the western side of the Alburni massif in the Cilento region of the province of Salerno. The oasis was established in 1999, covers 100 hectares (250 acres) and serves as a display of Mediterranean flora.

Montagna di Sopra, in the province of Benevento. It is a mountainous area in the heart of the Partenio Regional Park, described here. The WWF oasis is 312 hectares/770 acres and presents a variety of Mediterranean as well as Apennine flora.  

Lake Conza, located in the province of Avellino and accessible from the town of Conza di Campania. The lake is an artifical basin created in the 1970s by damning the Orfanto river for hydroelectric purposes. The WWF lakeside oasis is 800 hectares/2000 acres in area.
The Bussento Caves at Morigerati are a series of karst caves along the Bussento river in the southern part of the Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park before that river then flows down into the gulf of Policastro. The WWF oasis is 600 hectares (1500 acres) in area. [main article here]

Persano (photo right), in the province of Salerno down south in the Cilento as you approach the Alburni massif. The Oasis was opened in 1980 and is recognized by the European Union as an "internationally important wetland." Complete details at this link.

The Blue Oasis "La Punta" is located in the town of Pollica between Acciaroli and Pioppi in the Cilento area of Italy; it is a coastal town just south of the gulf of Salerno. The Oasis consists of a 600-meter stretch of beach with an area of 156 hecates/385 acres.

Valle della Caccia (Valley of the Hunt) of Senerchia (image, left), in the mountains east of Salerno.  A friend of mine just came back from this one. It's one of those easily accessible to all—1 km in and 1 out. It was established in 1992, covers an area of 450 hectares (c. 1100 acres) and is an integral part of the Monti Picentini Regional Park. My friend wrote on his website, Napoli Underground, "The oasis is a splendid natural jewel laid out along a single trail flanking the Acquabianca stream and leading to a spectacular natural waterfall. Along the trail for all to see and enjoy, the watercourse bounces and jumps along as it approaches the deep gorge near the Grotta del Muschio (Moss Grotto). Truly a fantastic scene." Details, photos and video at his website (link above).
photo, left, Napoli Underground

The Oasis of the Wolf is near the Valle della Caccia (above) and also entirely within the Monti Picentini Regional Park (linked above), east of Salerno and accessed from the A3 autostrada at the Campagna exit. The symbol of the oasis is the wolf; there are still a few, and they are part of the remaining wolf population in southern Italy. The oasis has an area of 62,200 hectares (c. 240 sq. miles) and is marked by noteworthy beech woods. Like other WWF oases, this one may be visited and provides educational guided tours for visitors.

Diecimare Nature Park, 440 hectares/1100 acres in the terrain that separates the Lattari mountains from the Picentines; that is, near the towns of Cava de'Tirreni, Mercato S. Severino and Baronissi (roughly, the gap behind the Sorrentine peninsula as you go from Naples to Salerno.

Croce Park, including the Croce Woods, located at the foot of Mount Falerio at the eastern beginning of the Amalfi coast in the town of
Vietri sul Mare. In part, the oasis holds Mediterranean flora and, in part, is an example of a typical terrace found along the Amalifi coast, cultivated with grape vines and fruit trees. The name of the oasis comes from the fact that Silvia Croce, daughter of historian and philosopher, Benedetto Croce, donated the property with the intent of establishing a WWF center for the Amalfi Coast.

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