Bringing more life to the Cavaglia plateau

Repower has enhanced the landscape and ecology of the Cavaglia plateau, a popular destination for excursions in the Valposchiavo. Between 2018 and 2020 around CHF 400,000 was invested in the revitalisation.

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Cavaglia plateau in Valposchiavo

The Rhaetian Railway train makes a short stop here as it zig-zags its way towards Valposchiavo. Formed by glaciers, the Cavaglia lies 1,703 metres above sea level. On the way back down to Poschiavo there are still a few curves and countercurves to negotiate. Making a stop here isn’t just rewarding for railway fans. In addition to its famous glacial mills, the Cavaglia plateau also boasts a low-moor bog serving as a habitat for numerous species of flora and fauna, as well as protected landscapes of national importance. In recent years Repower has invested around CHF 400,000 in measures to revitalise this unique landscape. “The plateau is now visibly wilder and more natural,” says Matteo Passini, the project manager who together with local construction manager Daniele Kalt took charge of the revitalisation for Repower. All the construction work was done by Repower employees.

Protected landscapes of national importance and a habitat to numerous species of flora and fauna

Better connections between bodies of water

Despite the plateau’s ecological and scenic importance, there was plenty of potential for upgrading work along the main waterways, Acqua Palü and the Cavagliasch. The goal of these revitalisation measures on the Cavaglia plateau was to create a mosaic of different habitats with open expanses of gravel, pioneer communities, and forest and shrub ecosystems. The aim was to encourage site-typical and rare animal and plant species, and allow processes within the system of waterways to again develop their own dynamics.

The measures were soon having the desired effect, heralding an ecological upgrade in Cavaglia. After a severe weather event in summer 2020, environmental specialists at ecowert, who had drawn up the revitalisation concept, analysed current drone images of the plateau. “It emerged that the bodies of water and waterways on the plateau are now better connected with each other. For this reason the cantonal fisheries inspector has also responded positively to the measures,” explains project manager Matteo Passini.

A new bridge prevents backwater flooding and thus also encourages the growth of plant species typical of the site.
New bridge prevents backwater flooding

The concrete measures included building a new bridge made of native wood. This allowed the existing wooden bridge, which repeatedly led to backwater flooding, to be demolished. In addition, various bank reinforcements were removed and side streams were upgraded by careful rerouting. The revitalisation project was concluded early in the year.

The revitalisation measures were financed by Repower’s naturemade star fund, which in turn was financed with green power from the Palü and Cavaglia power plants. Repower customers choosing the PUREPOWER product pay a premium in return for delivery of high-quality certified green power from Graubünden. The premium is earmarked primarily for specific regional environmental protection projects and the energy transition. Sustainability report

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