Lago della Gherardesca, Via del Porto, 7, 55062 Capannori LU, Italia
Lake Gherardesca is a body of water located in an area of reclaimed land of Castelvecchio di Compito, in Capannori.
The area of the lake is ideal for walks, excursions, and birdwatching and nature photography. It is found in the western part of the “padule”, at the foot of Mount Pisano, and covers an area of about 30 hectares.
To the north, there is the reclamation canal rich in wetland vegetation, to the west several willow trees. Along the east side, there is a row of cypress trees Cupressus sempervirens and to the south, at the foot of Mount Pisano, a thermophile wood with a prevalence of turkey oak Quercus cerris.
This area is home to 3000 birds, including ducks, also belonging to rare species, grebes and coots. The area also hosts a dormitory for ardeidae and herons that counts up to 300 birds, including great white herons, egrets, cattle egrets and cormorants, during the wintering period.
Near the lake, there is also a disused station of the former Lucca-Pontedera railway line and the site of a prisoner of war camp of the Second World War, marked by a memorial stone.
Lake Gherardesca is a “special protection area (spa)”, namely a protected area placed along the bird migration routes and finalised at maintaining and providing suitable habitats for the conservation and management of migratory wild bird populations.