Collserola, Spain’s newest natural park

October 19th, 2010 | Written by Lucy Brzoska.

After considerable procrastination, Collserola, often described as Barcelona’s lung, has been officially declared a natural park.  With an estimated 2 million visitors a year, Collserola becomes Spain’s second most visited natural park, after the Teide in the Canary Islands.  Maybe it’s also the most unusual, as its wildness exists among ubiquitous electricity pylons, a motorway, a cemetery, and the houses of 15,000 inhabitants.

What changes will this new status bring?  An increased budget and size, as the park area is due to be extended by 700 hectares to a total of 8,295.  New rules for the metropolitan urbanites who escape to Collserola’s woods will be announced shortly.  Whooping, hollering, silence-shattering kamikaze mountain bikers, the bane of hikers, will apparently be subjected to stricter control.

It will be interesting to see if the urbanising tentacles of the various municipalities that share Collserola will also be brought under control.