The Vall de Castellfollit, to the Natural Park of National Interest (PNIN) of Poblet, will not die of exit. In the darrers they have supported – like many other natural areas of Catalonia – an important increase in visitors, and they have continued to carry out some of the itineraries, because of the recreational areas, to go looking for tickets, to visit the center d’interpretació or the punt d’informació. Tot això has caused problems of different types, recognizes the Vimbodí i Poblet City Council. In an attempt to curb this excessive increase in the number of people who frequent this area, the Municipal Regulatory Ordinance for Motor Access to the Vall de Castellfollit Forest Track has been approved. It contains some restrictions on access to the sanctions to be imposed, which can reach up to 900 euros in the case of serious infractions.
In certain periods of the year, the frequency of the Vall de Castellfollit is very high and motorized traffic on the main track is excessively high. This fet causes parking problems in the surroundings of the Castellfollit forest house, in the area of lleure de la Roca de l’Abella, also with parking outside the llocs habilitats degut to the manca d’espai. For another band, this fet could lead to a devaluation of the natural values of the space, which has accumulated deixalles, agglomeration of people in determined points and, per so much, a loss of Gaudi from the visitor who is precisely looking for the Vall of Castellfollit an experience of proximity to nature, freedom from agglomerations, soroll and traffic problems.
In addition to the problems generated by visiting materials, the agglomeration of people and especially vehicles on certain days of the year, notably increases the risk in cases of forest fires or meteorological incidents. Keeping in mind that the forest track of the Vall de Castellfollit is a cul de sac for vehicles and in the case that there is an incident in the lower part of the ravine, the situation could become really chaotic. There have been situations in which the visitors have not been able to return after some hours, since their vehicles (tourismes and motorhomes) were trapped and it is not possible to moure.
In 2018, the PNIN prepared a report on cargo capacity and management alternatives to apply to the valley. One of the conclusions that he believed is that in the darrers five years there has been an increase in the access to the private vehicle to the valley, assolint daily figures of more than 100 vehicles on various occasions. The peak episodes of frequentation are done mostly during the ponts festius of spring and late, especially in the time of bolets. 2018 was the first year that the figure of 200 vehicles per day was exceeded during the delay, causing the absolute collapse of the forest tracks and the parking lots.
The order limits the access speed to the entire valley at 30 km/h. The parking of només vehicles will be authorized in those delimited spaces for this function. They are vuit zones, with a total of 71 places, of which 25 are in the area of Roca de l’Abella and 21 in the forest house of Castellfollit. It is prohibited to park outside the authorized areas, in the vorals of the track, as well as in forest areas or camps de conreu. Caravans or motorhomes have a limited time to circulate. The PNIN of Poblet will be able to establish a public price for parking in the spaces enabled for the forest track.
“There were no regulations”
«There was no way to be able to apply and regulate the influx of people if there were no regulations that regulated them. The rural agents could not act”, recognized the Diari l’mayor Vimbodí i Poblet, Joan Canela. In this way, it regulates traffic in times of maximum influx. Because they have donat chaotic situations, with a large influx of cotxes, deixats in any way on a narrow road». “It had started to be a big problem for people’s mobility”, he acknowledged.
Of all the scope of the PNIN, Canela said that the only thing that is causing this problem is in this valley, «because the track is paved at the end of the Castellfollit forestry house. I also hi ha la ruta dels bolets, i això provokes more curiosity per aquest indret». He said that the solution was not to seal off the area, but to leave the possibility open in the future if the problem persists.