Ramon tracks a pipe from an illegal borehole
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Strawberry farming threatens Spanish wetlands

Wildlife groups in Spain are warning that the growing demand for year-round strawberries in Europe is putting a strain on the environment.

In the fruit farming area near the town of Lucena del Puerto in Huelva, the local water agency estimates that as many as half of all strawberry farms are taking water illegally.

The conservation group World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) says there are more than 1,000 illegal boreholes in the area.

Drilled deep underground, they supply water to many strawberry fields in the region.

But that water is also what feeds one of Europe's most important wetlands, the Donana National Park.

Ramon Goni followed the path of one of the pipes.

  • 27 May 2011