Los Toruños
Avenida del Mar, 7 - Valdelagrana El Puerto de Santa María 11500 CÁDIZ, El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz, Andalucía
Phone: +34 956 203544 - Fax: +34 956 203545
Surface: 1,000 hectares - Population: 701,641 inhabitants. (metropolitan area)
Number of municipalities:
Los Toruños
The Metropolitan Park managed by the Andalusian Public Department - Consejería de Obras Públicas y Vivienda - trought the Andalusian Public Company EPSA, has the strategic goal of turning the park into the basic piece of the Red de Espacios Libres de la Bahía de Cádiz (Bay of Cadiz's free spaces network). The main objective is the one of being useful for the population of the metropolitan area and also being an instrument for the development of the cultural, ethnographical, historical and environmental values of its surroundings, so that the population of the Bay of Cadiz and its visitors could enjoy it.

The most significant elements that identify the singular character of this Metropolitan Park are:
  • It is environmentally protected as part of the Parque Natural Bahía de Cádiz.
  • 80% of its land is located in Maritime-Terrestrial Public Domain.
  • It has an important cultural, historical and ethnographic heritage.
  • It is protected by international institutions as the RAMSAR agreement, it is part of the Natura 2000 Directive (Directive 92/43/CE, May 21st), since it was declared area of the European Community interest and Special Protection Area for birds.
  • It is a Special Preservation Area according to the European Natura 2000 Directive.
  • It includes four habitats of community interest according to the mentioned Directive.
  • It has a wide range of ecosystems: wild beaches, dunes, tidal marshes, distributary channels, coastal pine groves, salt marshes, grassland.
  • Plenty of autochthonous protected species worldwide: fauna and flora.
  • Numerous economic secular exploitations: shellfishing, fishing, salt marshes, aquaculture, etc.
Natural heritage
The Metropolitan Park is located in a biophysical area dominated by the San Pedro river's mouth and the surrounding land as spit bars, tidal marshes, ridge of dunes and pingroves, all merged by their origin and evolution. The relation between marine and floodable spaces and terrestrial ones has left a singular structure in the territory. It is dominated by natural elements identifiable nowadays such as the following:

  • Los Toruños peninsula: An almost virgin tidal marsh over a spit bar drained by numerous tidal distributary channels. Additionally, the peninsula has the Playa de Levante (Levante’s beach) and a singular dune system, which confirm the virgin nature of the ecosystem. San Pedro River separates this peninsula from the Pinar de La Algaida (La Algaida pine grove).
  • Pine Forest “La Algaida”: It is formed by a forestry complex where there are stone pines grown over stabilized dunes.
  • Fresh water lagoons: The pine forest zone presents real fresh water “islands” in hypersaline environments.
  • Salt marshes: They represent the traditional and environmental secular exploitations of the Bay of Cadiz that have arrived to modern days.
  • Grassland and pasture that complete this diverse maritime and terrestrial ecosystem.
Historical heritage
Its geographical situation has positioned it along the history as strategic reference during the warlike episodes lived in the Bay of Cadiz. During the 19th century, with the aim of besieging Cadiz, the Napoleonic troops established their camps in the pine forest “ La Algaida”.

The remaining sunked flotsams of the Roman times confirm the usage of the Río San Pedro as a navigation rout. In the past, the environment that integrates today´s Parque Metropolitano has joined activities that look for the utilization of the natural resources: salt marshes, fishing, cattle raising, farming and fishery production, etc.

From the first Andalusia's ferrous line (the second one in Spain) that went through the Park we keep as industrial heritage, San Alejandro's bridge.
Activities
The dynamization of the Park program includes campaigns, journeys and events dedicated to encouraging the population to actively take part in the Metropolitan Park utilization by organizing and developing activities for recreation, sports, festive events and commemorative activities for all the citizenship groups. Throughout the year, the park's own program of activities and some other activities from different groups take place.
  • Animation and participation: Integration of the natural, cultural and ethnographical values to be shown for visitors (guided routes, water walks, outdoor activities, programs for schools, etc.)
  • Associative network: Activities for groups and associations, and participation in volunteer campaigns.
  • Health and sport: Outdoor sports activities for children and adults, and sports events and competitions (canoeing championships, popular races, walking races, etc.)
  • Other activities: Celebration of commemorative days as Park's Day, International Bird's Day, Wetlands' Day, Environmental's Day, etc.