Historical landscape of Millennial Olive Trees of The Sénia Territory
Applicant: Commonwealth of the "Taula del Sénia".
Reason for the award :
The jury was delighted to recognize the noble effort made to ensure the conservation of the ancient olive trees, in which so many people have participated.
Before the intervention, these olive trees faced danger of being replaced by citrus plantations or other faster-growing species, as well as garden plants.
All over southern Europe olive trees of great antiquity can be found, but the most significant concentration is in the area of El Sénia; the meeting point of the three territories of the Crown of Aragon: Valencia, Catalonia and Aragon, where this project is located. Thousands of majestic trees have been located in this territory that produces a special quality oil. The project wanted to protect this extraordinary complex: the trees themselves and the landscape of stone walls surrounding the fields.
Before the intervention, these olive trees faced danger of being replaced by citrus plantations or other faster-growing species, as well as garden plants. For this reason, between 2006 and 2007, the Taula del Sénia Association, made up of municipalities, and the Territorio Sénia Association, 50% owned by economic and social sectors, and another 50% by the Association, were created. Since then, all have collaborated promoting the territory and making people aware of the wealth of the heritage of the olive groves. The Association made the first inventory of ancient olive trees (with a trunk perimetre of more than 3.50 metres, measured at 1.30 meters from the ground) with around 4,800 specimens. Almost all are of the ‘Farga’ variety, the oldest and highest-quality oil, but with low production.
Various public entities have intervened in the campaigns for its protection, as well as the owners of farms and hotel establishments, with valuable advice from university departments, and the support of the inhabitants. Since the founding of the Association, the following results stand out: the foundation of two natural museums, two areas, and three paths of ancient olive trees; the certification of ancient oils and traditional varieties; the signing of collaboration agreements with restaurants and tourism; and the organization of travelling exhibitions, scientific congresses, publications, and awards.