Cava Bomba is a good example of environmental restoration of a long disused quarry. Quarrying activities, carried out from the end of the 19th century until the 1970s, had left a barren, rocky expanse devoid of all vegetation, and a high wall where layers of maiolica and scaglia rossa limestone were clearly visible, showing how an ancient, clay seabed was once there. Quarrying ended in 1974, and research started on the important, 92 million year old fossils found in the small, dark argillite hump at the centre of the quarry. Environmental-focused interventions then included sowing of fitting plants for the temperate climate and the arid limestone soil (Gramineae and Leguminosae, but also indigenous trees and shrubs), which especially suited the almost Mediterranean local situation and the sunny southern-facing slopes of these hills. Over time, other species have enriched this environment, such as Spanish broom (Spartium junceum), dog rose (Rosa canina), manna ash (Fraxinus ornus), and many more grasses, trees and shrubs.
After the inauguration of the Cava Bomba Geo-paleontological Museum (1987), the public in the 1990s became increasingly responsive to the use of the quarry for environmental purposes. Always in the 1990s, the kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), a diurnal bird of prey that was once very common, was reintroduced in the Euganean territory.
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Cava Bomba - Cinto Euganeo
(photo by PR Colli Euganei)