Benefit of the month #7: Green Infrastructure and habitat management
Each month we introduce a particular benefit of green nfrastructure including examples from the project’s case study areas and across Central Europe.
Mowers on the move in Karkonosze National Park
The Karkonosze National Park in southwest Poland is known for its forests and mountain tops, less known are its meadows. Though they only account for a small percentage of the park’s area they are nonetheless an important Natura 2000 habitat and managed as such. More meadows exist outside of the park, but due to declining agriculture these important open areas are disappearing.
One example of how these habitats are being managed is the cooperation between one of the inhabitants of the city of Jelenia Góra and the National Park. Some meadows are used to train Border collies, best known for their ability as sheepdogs. The dog’s owner decided to buy a herd of sheep, which now graze the meadows leased by the park which is therewith able to preserve these habitats and has even built a sheepfold.
The park authority carries out monitoring of the meadows in the foothills and the effect of sheep grazing on the composition of the plant species and thus biodiversity. It supports the idea as it delivers multiple benefits to both the local inhabitants and nature. An example of which was the international sheep-breeding competition held in 2018. Time will tell if this experiment will continue and perhaps expanded to other areas.
Photos made by Barbara Wieniawska-Raj
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