Ticino Valley natural park was established by a Regional Act of the 21st of august 1978, aiming at preserving the natural, environmental and landscape features of Ticino Valley and to organize the territory in order to enjoy it for recreative, didactic, scientific and cultural purposes. The territory of the Park (involving eleven towns in the province of Novara) is composed, at first, of a deeply enbanked valley, which progressively enlarges with wide bends of the river.

The human intervention has considerably reduced the landscape; at the beginning the whole area was a forest, and then little by little the cultivations replaced the wood (which still covers anyway more than the half of the territory). The dry river beds, secondary arms of  the watercourse, are very peculiar. They are moulded by the floods following one another: the main course withdrawal creates special environments, rich in flora and fauna. Dry river beds, reed thickets and springs promote the watching of rabbits, hares, foxes, mallards, area cinereas, moorhens, trouts, chubs, pikes.

The project for the reintroduction of the otter has started for some times. The Ticino valley park- with its headquarters at Oleggio- is formed by the Ticino valley which runs along the banks of the River Ticino, (known as the “Blue River” because of the clearness of its waters which reflect the sky above). It stretches out across the Padana plain from the foothills of the Alps and comprises 6250 hectares or 12, 500 acres, mainly grassland, so that the area is verdant throughout most of the year. It is planted with a wide variety of trees and conifers: oak, elm, plane and willow trees as well as various wild grasses such as acquit canapa, giant solidago, yellow iris, and salcerella.

The river Ticino is the focal point of the park. Its relatively fast flowing water creates areas of natural interest where a few metres makes all the difference between the type of vegetation to be found. In fact it can vary from the luxuriant and almost impenetrable to grassy and cultivated. As far as flora is concerned, the park is rich in the typical esseces of the plain Po forest and in a wealthy underbrush (hazeltree, blackthorn, hawthorn).