Holay Pond Nature Reserve
A small lakeside basin, the precious habitat of rare species
It is a h umid area, extremely small in size and of high naturalistic value, due to the presence of unique or very rare flora and fauna in the Valle d'Aosta. The area consists of a small depression, at an altitude of 765 metres, amid the sheepskin humps of the right mountain slope of Gressoney valley, where it joins with the basin of Pont-Saint-Martin. There is a small lacustrine basin in the centre of the depression, now almost filled up, invaded by hygrophilous vegetation. The vegetation is typical of humid areas, mainly comprising
common reed (Phragmites australis), reed-mace (Typha latifolia) as well as certain species of rushes (Juncus tenageja, Juncus conglomeratus). The Holay nature reserve is the only place currently known in the Valle d'Aosta to house two especially sought-after plants: the water purslane (Lythrum portula) and the 'ForgetMeNot' of reed thickets (Myosotis laxa). There are many species of amphibians and reptiles. Among the reptiles, you can observe the green lizard (Lacerta viridis), the wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) and the grass snake
(Natrix natrix) and, among the amphibians, the green frog (Rana esculenta) and the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra). The nature reserve (municipality of Pont-Saint-Martin), set up in 1993 and run by the Protected areas service of the Agriculture and natural resources Councillorship, can be reached by following the regional road to Gressoney-Saint-Jean (village of Ivery, village of Holay).