El Hornico Botanical Garden

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El Hornico Botanical Garden

Diversity and contrasting landscapes are the main characteristics of the south end of the Nature Reserve and this is particularly noticeable in the composition and structure of the plant formations that cover the territory. A short, pleasant stroll around the El Hornico Botanical Garden will show you the Nature Reserve’s forest ecosystems and the plants they are made of, from the sub-desert esparto grass badlands in the Guadiana Menor river to the alpine broom and pinewoods in the mountains, including the forests found throughout the area. At the Botanical Garden you can go from the lowlands to the highest summits in a few minutes and with little effort.


The Arroyo del Vidrio stream runs down the middle of the Botanical Garden, crossed by an oriental-looking wooden bridge that leads to the nature area where you can learn more about the plants growing in their natural habitat, some of which are endangered species. This part of the Garden has a circular path around the stream from which you can observe more than forty different species of birds, as well as squirrels, amphibians and plants. The canyon is the ideal setting to get an idea of the unique contrasts of this area by looking out over the actual landscape from a viewpoint situated at the highest part of the itinerary.

A European black pine wood (Pinus nigra ssp. salzmanii) grows on a shady mountain slope on the right-hand bank of the stream. Opposite, the maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) that grows in the dolomite sandbanks in the car park area is the only tree that can tolerate the presence of magnesium in the soil. Close by, in a sunny, rocky area, Aleppo pines (Pinus halepensis), the most characteristic pine of all in arid environments, grow in very permeable and extremely dry substrates. The fact that the three species of native pine trees are able to grow naturally in such a small space highlights the special ecological characteristics of the Nature Reserve.

 

We recommend…

  • El Hornico Botanical Garden, indicated as a Collection of Native Plants in the Nature Reserve’s information board, is currently managed by the town council of Pozo Alcón and is only open to the public at the height of the tourist season. Please call the municipal tourist board to arrange a planned, organised visit (Telephone: (+34) 953 739 005)
  • Close to the Botanical Garden you will find the El Hornico Nature Centre, where environmental education activities are carried out in the garden and the surrounding area. It is the ideal place for organising school and group activities.

 

LOCATION

The Hornico Botanical Garden is located 9 km from Pozo Alcón and 17 km from Hinojares. From Pozo Alcón, take the A-326 and go up the Avenida Bolera towards Castril. After 7 km and past the Bolera campsite, take a turn-off to the left that skirts the Bolera forestry house (the way to El Hornico is signposted). After travelling along a dirt road for 2 km, cross the bridge and take another left turn-off that leads to the Botanical Garden parking area only a few meters further on.



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