Preserving ecologically valuable dry stone walls in Ticino 

Image: Mission B
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The dry stone walls on Monti di Cortoi in the Verzasca Valley provide habitat for plants and small animals – if they are allowed to become overgrown, valuable biodiverse land will be lost. As part of its Flora Futura biodiversity initiative, AXA supports the recultivation of this terraced mountainside.

The little village atop Monti di Cortoi in the canton of Ticino with its typical stone cottages known as ‘rustici’ lies some 1,000 meters above sea level and looks like it’s been taken straight out of the pages of a fairy tale. The small stone houses are cozily nestled in the lush greenery of the landscape. But the terraced landscape of Monti di Cortoi is not only picturesque, it is also highly valuable from an ecological perspective. Its dry stone walls are home to an abundance of plants and small animals. Without a little help from humans, these walls would become completely overgrown. And this is exactly what the Campo Cortoi cooperative is working hard to prevent. 

Dry stone walls provide habitat for countless species

With the support of AXA and the help of numerous volunteers, Campo Cortoi is restoring the approximately 1,000 square meters of Monti di Cortoi. One of the projects they are tackling is clearing away the overgrowth and rebuilding the dry stone walls on the terraces. This is the first step in recultivating the overgrown terraces so they can once again provide habitat for many different species. Watch the video to learn why this challenging project must rely on a large number of volunteers to help.   

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