The river route of Pontedera presents a typical floodplain, dominated by woodland flora such as poplars, willows and emergent aquatic plants like the yellow water-lily. This floodplain follows the stretch of the river Arno from the bridge over SS439 (Bientina direction) to the dam and the Scolmatore Canal, and then from the same dam to the bridge over the SS67 (Tosco-Romagnola), for a total area of 53.72 hectares.
The Parco dei Salici (park of willows) also falls within the limits of the oasis, on the left bank of the Arno: stretching over more than eight hectares, it is the most extensive green area within the urban zone of Pontedera. At the behest of the municipality, LIPU (Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli) has set up a walking path, complete with illustrated information boards, feeding troughs and artificial nests. Forty-three bird species have currently been identified in the floodplain area, including some wetland birds of particular interest.
The plain is ecologically important throughout the seasons: as an area of hibernation and reproduction and as a ‘natural corridor’ for migrations within the region’s ‘ecological web’. It helps support local biodiversity, setting an example to the globe while fulfilling an educational role with its vast visiting public.