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ADRI VALLADOLID NORTE

The area in which ADRI Valladolid Norte (Nothern Valladolid) operates belongs to the natural region of Tierra de Campos, in the northern part of the Valladolid Province.

Its area of more than 1,100 km2 forms a vast plain with an average elevation of 720 m; this grain-producing steppe landscape is what most identifies this natural region, where Unamuno described Tierra de Campos in the following way: “between sky and land, only man.” The land is crossed by river beds with markedly low water levels, with the Rivers Cea, Valderaduey and Sequillo stand out, running from north to south. This vast plain allows the viewer to see 50 km in any direction and up to 150 km on a clear and cloudless day; the sunsets are a sight that traps the viewer as he or she watches the landscape and horizon blend together.

The land’s biodiversity is considered part of its natural heritage that is included in the Natura 2000 European ecological network, with more than 425 km2 spread out over five Special Protection Areas for Birds (ZEPAs, from the Spanish acronym): La Nava-Campos Norte, La Nava-Campos Sur, Oteros-Cea, Penillanuras-Campos Norte and Penillanuras-Campos Sur, which are home to some of the EU’s highest population densities of bustards, harriers and lesser kestrels.

In addition to these protected areas, there is also the Ribera del Cea (Cea River Banks), which is listed as a Site of Community Interest (LIC in Spanish) and forms a corridor between the wolf-inhabited areas of Sierra de la Culebra, the western part of the Zamora Province, and the eastern part of the mountains of León.

 The agricultural and livestock sector is without a doubt what drives the region’s economy. Arable farming and dairy sheep are the primary activities, and so Tierra de Campos is also a land of many pastures where the famous native churra and castellana breeds of lamb that satisfy the requirements of the I.G.P. “Lechazo de Castilla León” (“Castilla y León Lamb with Protected Geographical Indication) are raised.

The prodution of pasteurised or unpasteurised sheep cheese (where the “Queso de Villalón” and “Pata de Mulo” products stand out), cultivation of pardina lentils with the I.G.P. “Lenteja Pardina de Tierra de Campos” (“Pardina Lentil from Tierra de Campos” with Protected Geographical Identification) quality assurance, and vineyards carrying the “Tierra de León” Protected Destination of Origin distinction, where the prieto picudo variety of grape is grown, all make up diverse business fabric.

In Tierra de Campos, clay is the central element of the region’s popular heritage. Adobe and mud are used to erect emblematic buildings such as traditional huts, wineries and dovecotes, whose origins in the area are derived from Roman towns. In addition to popular architecture, religious art is also noteworthy due to the Mudéjar style, Arabic art in Christian churches, that dates to the 12th-16th centuries; among the most noteworthy are: the Roman-Mudéjar church of San Gervasio and San Protasio in Santervás de Campos; the Gothic-Mudéjars of Aguilar de Campos, Cuenca de Campos, Villalón de Campos, with most of them having been declared Heritage of Cultural Interest (from the Spanish acronym BIC); and the coffers in Cabezón de Valderaduey, Cuenca de Campos and Mayorga. With respect to engineering heritage, the stone pillories, which survived following the disobedience of their councillors in response to the orders to destroy them issued by the Cádiz and Second Republic Courts, are in Aguilar de Campos, Bolaños de Campos, Mayorga and Villalón de Campos, with the one in Villalón de Campos standing out becuase of its Flemish-Gothic style and the fact that it was built by stonemasons who worked in the Burgos catedral.

It is necessary to point out that this grain-producing steppe landscape is dotted with traditional dovecotes, which house a product of distinguished quality, a delicacy that can only be tried in this region: pichón bravío or palomino (young wild dove); it is the signature dish in many of the region’s restaurants. This characteristically-scenic region is also home to folkloric traditions such as the “paloteo” dance, possibly of pre-Roman origin, which is typical in the municipalities of Herrín and Villafrades de Campos. And it is also home to interpretation centres and museums related to its two strongest tourist attractions: nature and cuisine.

Birdwatching and landscape viewpoints such as the observatory in Tamariz de Campos, together with the Canal de Castilla; and the viewpoints in Villalba de la Loma, Melgar de Arriba, and Herrin de Campos; and for birdwatching there is the “Centro de Interpretación de la Avifauna de Tierra de Campos” (Tierra de Campos Bird Interpretation Centre) in Monasterio de Vega. Tourists can also visit the “Palomar del Abuelo” (Grandfather’s Dovecote) and the Museo del Queso (Cheese Museum) in Villalón de Campos, the “Centro de Interpretación de la Caza” (Hunting Interpretation Centre) in Saelices de Mayorga, the Museo del Pan (Bread Museum) in Mayorga; the latter are the only museums of their kind in Spain. Not to be forgotten are the “Centro de Interpretación de la Matanza” (La Matanza Interpretation Centre) and the “La Vaca Enmaromada” (La Vaca Enamorada Interpretation Centre) in Palazuelo de Vedija. And on another note, there is the “Museo del Calzado” (Footwear Museum) and the “Exposición de la Labranza del Ayer” in Villalón de Campos.


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