- Region: Andalucia
- Province: Cordoba
- Declared a Natural Park: 1989
- Park surface area: 60,031 hectares
Points of interest
Oak woodland in Hornachuelos offers protection to endangered species such as Black vulture, Lynx, Black stork and Bonelli’s eagle.
This parkland covers the eastern end of the Sierra Morena, close to Cordoba. The western part of this range is divided into a further two parks as it is dissected by provincial borders, thus forming an extended belt of protection. Sierra Norte de Sevilla is within the province of Sevilla. Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche is in Huelva province. There are no high peaks, rather a more gentle outline crossed by many rivers, with several large reservoirs.
The river Bembézar and its reservoir cut through the centre of the park.
Dominated by oaks with Holm, Gall and Cork oaks and a Mediterranean scrub being a mixture of; Lentisc, Myrtle, Strawberry tree, Kermes oak and Rockroses. There is a gentle transition between mountain coverage and farmland with Dehesas. These are farms which combine open planting of mixed oak trees with pasture land beneath.
The plentiful river valleys are lined with Oleander, Hawthorn, Ash, Willow and Poplars. Dwarf fan palms, wild olive and Carob trees are found in areas with limestone rock formations.
Pond weeds that inhabit the water courses are Potamogeton sp, horned pond weed (Zannichellia) and duck weed (Lemna).
Of special note are Black vultures which have far fewer numbers in Spain than the Griffon vultures. They are of a larger size and nest in trees rather than cliffs. The third vulture in the park is the Egyptian vulture. Eagles recorded here are Golden, Short-toed and Bonelli’s. Other birds of prey include Goshawk, Kestrel and Buzzard.
Scrub covered slopes are home to Red deer, Wild boar and Mongoose. More secretive fauna of the park includes Wolf, Lynx, Otter and Black stork.
Also in the area
- Farming cattle and Iberian pigs, hunting and cork collection are the area’s main natural resources.
- There is an abandoned monastery set on a hillside above the Bembézar river, Monasterio de Santa María de los Ángeles, built in 1489 by Fray Juan de la Puebla, 10km northeast of Hornachuelos.
La Huerta del Rey (1km out of Hornachuelos on the road north to San Calixto)
In the visitor centre there is a good exhibition detailing the wild life of the area concentrating especially mammals and large birds of prey. There is a recreation of a walk through the woods at night and the exhibition also illustrates traditional customs and activities in the Sierra de Hornachuelos such as hunting, beekeeping and cork production.
Towns in the area
Almodovar del Rio, Córdoba, Hornachuelos, Posadas, Villaviciosa de Córdoba
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