The “La Torbiera” (peat-bog) fauna Park was established in this region on the boundary between the Po Valley and the Alpine foothills and is characterised by a mild and ever-humid climate.
The peat-bog environment grows from the progressive accumulation of dead parts of plants on the bottom of the lakes. In wet terrain, the lack of oxygen impedes the processes of oxidation and complete decomposition of the plants. The remains of the plants therefore only transform partially, becoming peat, and they gather together on the lake bed, making the depth of the lake basin progressively decrease. In this way, the plants on the lake shore are thrust towards the inside, reducing the surface of the body of water until it disappears. In the area of Agrate Conturbia, where the “La Torbiera” fauna park is located, a Mesolithic area has been discovered, with archaeological features similar to those of the nearby Mercurago great lakes.
The Mesolithic era represents an evolutionary period of transition from glaciations to the Neolithic phase, characterised by a progressive increase in temperature. Typical of the period was the expansion of broad-leaved and mixed oak woods. It was this change which brought about a population given to hunting and gathering. The park is made up of a strip of land which has fortunately been salvaged from the actions of man. It includes a section which is open to the public and also a protected area, a refuge for animals and plants.
The protected area covers an expanse of around 40 hectares, where the wood opens out into clearings frequented by roe deer, foxes, weasels, reptiles (particularly the common viper), hawks and other ornithological species. The humid areas are also populated by amphibians (newts), ardeidae, anatidae and reptiles (water snakes). To the eye, the area appears sweetly undulated, where light slopes alternate with depressions which are often occupied by peaty floods and small stretches of water. Passing over it, we come to three humid areas fed by rainwater and/or by resurgent waters, as well as small streams, springs and other bodies of water. The flora is typical of the broad-leaved woods. On the banks of the small lakes we find vegetation which is typically of the hygrophila genus, besides the exotic vegetation which is also present in the area.