LIFE GRANATHA - GRowing AviaN in Apennine's Tuscany HeathlAnds

LIFE15 NAT/IT/000837

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Contact details:

Contact person: Marcello MIOZZO
Tel: 390575529514
Fax: 390575529565
Email: miozzo@dream-italia.it

Project description:


Heathlands are mostly habitats of anthropic origin, which have flourished thanks to active human management and relevant socio-economic activities, such as the exploitation of heath and pastures for agriculture. In the last decades, as a consequence of the abandonment of traditional activities, the target area has been subjected to major environmental changes. In fact the original dry heath vegetation cover is being replaced by trees and shrubs. These changes are leading to the reduction of suitable breeding areas and feeding grounds for many birds listed in the EU Birds Directive.


Situated in the in the Natura 2000 network site, "Pastures and mountain bushes of Pratomagno", the LIFE GRANATHA project’s overall aim is to improve the conservation status of the populations of a number of Annex I-listed species of the Birds Directive. The target species are: the Dartford warbler (Sylvia undata), woodlark (Lullula arborea), red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio), Montagu's harrier (Circus pygargus), tawny pipit (Anthus campestris), European nightjar (Caprimulgus aeuropeus), short-toed snake eagle (Circaetus gallicus), and the European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus).

In particular, the project aims to reverse the negative trend affecting the conservation status of the heathland habitats (due to the abandonment of traditional activities), and to ensure their sustainable management in the long term, i.e. by restoring their ecological functionality (mainly through the removal of invasive trees and shrubs) and by fostering the development of the production and marketing of brushes and related products/tools from the heath scrubs.

Specific objectives are to:

  • Improve the conservation status of Dartford warbler, woodlark, red-backed shrike, Montagu's harrier, tawny pipit and European nightjar and an increase in their numbers by restoring their nesting habitat;
  • Improve the conservation status and increase the populations of short-toed snake eagle and the European honey buzzard through the restoration and improvement of their feeding habitats;
  • Launch a local chain for the production and sale of household products/tools made from a perennial evergreen shrub, Erica scoparia, thus linking socioeconomic activities and Natura 2000 network habitat management under the EU Business and Biodiversity Initiative; and
  • Identify a management model of heathland habitats that could improve the conservation status of the target species.
  • Expected results:

  • A 20% increase in the breeding population of the Dartford warbler, woodlark, red-backed shrike, Montagu's harrier, tawny pipit, European nightjar;
  • A 20% increase, at least, in the distribution area of all target bird species;
  • Restoration and management of 73 ha of heathland for the production of the marketable brush products;

  • Restoration and management of 80 ha of heathland for nature purposes;
  • Restoration and management of 10 ha of heathland for nature purposes, through the use of controlled fire;
  • Involvement of private landowners to ensure the availability of an extra 20 ha of heathland for active management;
  • Produce and market the brushes and related consumer products from sustainably managed heathlands;
  • Identify and develop protocols for the sustainable management of heathlands to be applied in other, similar contexts, and to involve regional and provincial administrations, responsible for the management of Natura 2000 sites, in the dissemination of protocols relating to the conservation management of heathlands; and
  • Raise awareness among the local communities (by targeting students of primary and middle schools in the municipalities of the Natura 2000 network site, plus at least 20% of the local population) of the importance of the management of the target habitat and the species.



Environmental issues addressed:


Species - Birds
Habitats - Heath and Scrublands


migratory species‚  wood product‚  management plan‚  restoration measure

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...
  • Directive 2009/147 - Conservation of wild birds - Birds Directive (codified version of Directive ...

Target species

 Anthus campestris   Caprimulgus europaeus   Circaetus gallicus   Circus pygargus   Lanius collurio   Lullula arborea   Pernis apivorus   Sylvia undata   

Target Habitat types

  • 4030 - European dry heaths

Natura 2000 sites

SCI IT5180011 Pascoli montani e cespuglieti del Pratomagno



Coordinator D.R.E.AM. ITALIA Soc. Cooperativa Agricolo Forestale
Type of organisation Development agency
Description D.R.E.Am Italia is a cooperative founded in 1978. Its activities cover sustainable management of natural resources, rural development, forestry planning and management, nature conservation (including the Natura 2000 network), prevention of natural disasters and landscape protection. The beneficiary has already participated in several LIFE projects and contributed to the development of the management plans of Natura 2000 network sites.
Partners Unione dei Comuni del Pratomagno, Italy BETADUE COOP. SOCIALE DI TIPO B ONLUS, Italy Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Forestali e Alimentari - Università di Torino, Italy


Project reference LIFE15 NAT/IT/000837
Duration 01-SEP-2016 to 30-JUN -2022
Total budget 1,327,999.00 €
EU contribution 796,499.00 €
Project location Toscana(Italia)


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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version