HomeTypes of actionC. Management of the river habitatC.1. The setting back or removal of earth embankments to increase the River Territory.

C.1. The setting back or removal of earth embankments to increase the River Territory.

This action is directed at eliminating or setting back the earth embankments (flood defences) in order to extend the River Territory. There is a need to protect the natural river system dynamics as the key to correct management of the river territory, the improvement of its ecosystems and the minimisation of risks and associated costs, thereby complying with the mandates of the Habitat (1992/43), Water Framework (2000/60) and Floods (2007/60) directives.

As far as the conservation of biodiversity is concerned, the diagnosis made on the problems present in the area of action revealed that the occupation of the riverine area by crops and poplar plantations was one of the most serious problems affecting the conservation of species as important as the European mink (Mustela lutreola). This area, which was formerly occupied by natural flood plains with floodable copses and grazing lands, in which the river was allowed to follow its natural course, to create wetlands and oxbow lakes of great importance for the conservation of many different species, was humanised decades ago in order to create new land for farming and tree plantations. The crops and poplar groves were protected from flooding by building earth embankments, which prevented the natural development of the river and caused flooding problems in downstream areas.

The River Territory is defined as an area which includes a river channel and a riverside corridor, both protected, in addition to human uses which are unprotected, cannot be urbanised, insured or which are compatible with flooding and with the erosion of the river banks, in which the river dynamics make it possible to recover the natural river ecosystems.1

The actions proposed will make it possible to recover the flood plains and to promote the restoration of the important natural ecosystems, and are to be carried out in the low-water months of August and September. The project proposes to eliminate or set back a total of 2,620 linear metres of earth embankments which will allow the water to spread naturally during floods and to recover the natural habitats over 29 hectares of floodplain.

1Ollero, A. (2007). Territorio Fluvial. Diagnóstico y propuesta para la gestión ambiental y de riesgos en el Ebro y los cursos bajos de sus afluentes. Bakeaz. Fundación Nueva Cultura del Agua, 255 pp.(River Territory. A diagnosis and proposal for the environmental and risk management of the Ebro river and the lower reaches of its tributaries).


    Gestión Ambiental de Navarra, S.A. Fundación Crana Tragsa


    Gobierno de Navarra Gobierno de España

LIFE+ Environmental Recovery of the River Territory: a vital area for the European Mink (Mustela lutreola) | LIFE+ MINK TERRITORY