Ambassador profile


  Name: Albert Camps Giró
  Function: Environmental Councilor of Granollers
  Country: Spain
  E-mail: acamps(at)ajuntament.granollers(dot)cat
  Tel: +34 93842 6655

Organisation profile


  Organisation: Ajuntament de Granollers (Local council of Granollers)
  E-mail: vdomingo(at)ajuntament.granollers(dot)cat
  Tel: +34 93842 6735
  Established: Before 1945
  Category: NGO
  Number of staff: 750
Site profile
  Site name: Riu Congost (Riu Congost i espai natural de Can Cabanyes)  
  Location: Municipi of Granollers , Barcelona, Spain  
  Land area: 358.4 ha  
  Nearest urban settlement: City of Granollers  
  Natura 2000 ID: ES5110025  
  www: none  
  Annual visitor count: More than 4,000 citizens of Granollers and neighbourhoods visit the natural space of Can Cabanyes and the Congost river.  
  Majority of visitors from: From the city of Granollers and other neighbouring cities like Montmeló and Montornès.  
  Site description:

The Congost river, of Mediterranean type, passes through Granollers (56,199 inhabitants) with a total length of 6.7 km. Uncontrolled or wrongly planned interventions had generated a high artficialization of the river basin environment as well as the presence of the peripheral activities which had been damaging the environment. This situation caused the cut of the links with the rest of the urban public spaces aggravated by the inadequate roads that have been affecting the mobility in the entire area.

The river basin sanitation and environmental recovery project has been developed according to the guidelines of the Environment Action Plan approved in 1999. The interventions are organized around the river promenade, a corridor parallel to the river to be extended in both directions. The type of each intervention is planned differently according to the urban development level and to the purpose of each area.

The interventions have permitted the functional recovery of the river ecosystem, the reduction of the contamination with the consequent reduction of the sanitary risk, the increase of the green spaces, the improvement of the roads, the renovation of the urban areas next to the river and the integration of the river basin as a peripheral urban environment. In this environment, social, recreational and pedagogical activities can be developed, raising the public awareness of this area and decreasing its tendency to marginalization.

Other interventions that exceed the river basin were:

  • The construction of 1 ha. surface flow wetland, fed with the treated effluents of the treatment wastewater plant of Granollers, as a tertiary treatment system of sewages and a restoration measure for a degraded zone near the river Congost. The system has become a key element in the natural environments sorrounding the Congost river.
  • The creation of a water supply network for the water regenerated in the new pool. This water will be used for the irrigation of the green areas, of the controlled yards and for the city cleaning system. The network will connect to an underground waters exploitation system that has a 400 m² pond.
  • The elaboration of the Special Plan for the Protection of the Natural Heritage.
  • The publication of educational and informational materials about the environmental values of the river basin and set up of a visiting program as well as an environmental educational centre.

The participation of the different administrations, companies with a recognized technical level and certain members of the population guarantees the consensus of the actions.

Some of the specific results achieved are:

  • Creation of 21 ha of urban and suburban fluvial parks and the planning of another 8 ha
  • Recovery of the riversides (8 km) and labors of maintenance and preservation of the riverbed (3.2 km)
  • Recovery of 3.3 ha of contaminated soil by eliminating a source of the water pollution
  • Tertiary treatment of 2,50 m³/day of sewages, with a 85% reduction of the Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), and a 80% reduction of the Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD).
  • Construction of an 8 km river promenade for pedestrians, sportsmen, cyclists. These itineraries have been integrated in the existing network, making up a total of 33.46 km, which will be extended to 44 km.
  • Establishment of a legal framework to include a regulation for preserving 131.85 ha area of natural interest (21% of the existing areas of natural interest).
  • Elimination of the architectural barriers and increasing the quality of the public areas (urban furniture, landscaping).
  • Improvement of the sanitation network in order to avoid the uncontrolled spillages into the river.


Priority species
  Species code Latin name Common / local name
    Mauremys leprosa Tortuga de rierol
    Miniopterus schreibersii Rat penat de cova
    Rhinolophus euryale Rat penat mediterrani
    Rhinolophus ferrum-equinum Rat penat gran de ferradura
    Rhinolophus hipposideros Rat penat petit de ferradura
All habitats (* indicates priority habitats)
  Habitat code Common / local name
  3260 Rius de terra baixa i de la muntanya mitjana amb vegetació submersa o parcialment flotant (Ranunculion fluitantis i Callitricho-Batrachion)
  3270 Rius amb vores llotoses colonitzades per herbassars nitròfils del Chenopodion rubri (pp) i del Bidention (pp)
  3280 Rius mediterranis permanents, ambgespes nitròfiles del Paspalo-Agrostidion orlades d'àlbers i salzes
  6430 Herbassars higròfils, tant de marges i vorades com de l'alta muntanya
  91E0 * Vernedes i altres boscos de ribera afins
  92A0 Alberedes, salzedes i altres boscos de
  9340 Alzinars i carrascars
  9540 Pinedes mediterrànies
Stakeholder profile        
  Stakeholder activity in the management planning process:
  Stakeholder group activity level
  hi ←         → nil
  Local Government        
  Central Government (regional goverment of Catalonia)        
  Private landowners        
  Green NGOs        
  Private sector        
  Private individuals        
  Recreational groups        
Stakeholder success stories

River promenade

As it has been explained, uncontrolled or wrongly planned interventions of some industrial areas around the river, and the presence of the peripheral activities had generated a high artificialization of the river basin environment as well as. This situation had caused the cut of the links with the rest of the urban public spaces, aggravated by the inadequate roads that have been affecting the mobility in the entire area. In order to design a system of urban parks that connects the urban center with the river and to give continuity to the river promenade, City council of Granollers realized verbal agreements with private landowners for the landtrust of river environment and promote the participation of neighbours and trader associations, industrial companies and Canovelles City Council (town adjacent to the north side) in the project planning. The interventions to be made along the river Congost environment have also been debated with the Palou Owners Association (a 14,7 ha. surface agricultural area next to the city of Granollers and the river).



Taking part of "Projecte rius"

Our involvement in the project includes the realization of two campaigns per year, and has provoked the setting-up of 14 community organizations (schools, neighbourhood associations, youth unions and tourists associations) which are involved in the river monitoring and promoting process. They apply indicators to control the quality of the river water, the quality of river ecosystem, and the evolution of "the river health" during the year. The "Projecte Rius" is an initiative of the Association Hàbitats, that promotes the social participation to the preservation and improvement of the rivers (see the objectives and main activities of the association in



Protected area

In 2006, the City Council of Granollers requested (to the Environmental Department of Catalonia Goverment) that a protected area was created, in which it was forbidden to fish or hunt in the area of the Congost river, that passes through the municipality of Granollers. In 2007, the Government of Catalonia approved the protection of this area, in order to protect the wildlife associated with the river habitats.


Photo credit: Albert Camps, Manel Cantos, Virgínia Domingo, Xavier Romero
Communication profile

Activities and products for the communication of Natura 2000


Action plan meetings
Guided visits
Other: Local website (


  Event frequency
At least once per month


  Use of seasonal workers / volunteers


  Communication literature produced
Magazines / periodicals


  Communication target groups
General public


  The organisation has a dedicated communication strategy for Natura 2000


  Site involved in joint working / networking


Site management profile
"Sustainable management and guidelines for the Congost river enrivonment"
  Key site management issues:


Protection and conservation of natural values of the river environment, that helps to recover the biodiversity (flora and fauna).


  Integration of Natura 2000 in overall site management:


Through the implementation of a Management Plan on this natural site, which is classified as a local interest site by the urban planning rules. The Management Plan for the natural sites of Granollers has been written according with the Eurosite Manual.


  Key site management objectives:


  • Environmental restoration of the site (a lot of artificial elements built next to the natural site (wastewater treatment plant, industrial area, road, an old rubbish dump, etc.).
  • Protection of habitats and species considered of interest by the European Union.
  • Recovering of biodiversity associated to continental water habitats.
  • Maintain the natural functions of the ecosystem with the social functions of the overall site.
  • Isolation of the river ecosystem from the rounded environment, without a buffer from the next urban areas.
  Stakeholders targeted as part of management action:


  • Local administration (Consorci per la Defensa del Riu Besòs).
  • Regional administration (Environmental Department, Agency for water management, Agency for waste management).
  • Private owners of areas next to the site.


  Description of work carried out / methods and methodology:


  • Restoration of main man-made impacts
  • Naturalize the river site with environmental restoration actions.
  • To ensure the area is accessible to the citizens of the river site and environment.


  Results of action and activities:


Collaboration with other administration and enrichment of the proposals made by the City Council of Granollers.

Natural and social functions has been recovered at the site, and it was included in the regional's goverment proposal to extend the Natura 2000 Networking in Catalonia.


  Indication of budget allocation for these tasks:


At the beginning, the budget allocated to the whole project of restoration of the river environment was Euro 3,252,970. However the city Council of Granollers annually assigns their own budget of Euro 50,000 to the maintenance plan of the site.


Financial overview
  European funding:


In 2000, the Local Council of Granollers received a FEDER fund, which allows the recovery of the social and environmental uses of the environment of the Congost river.

< back to sites page
Riu Congost: ES