1. Water supply management
The main aim of the project is the management of the groundwater levels in the area, rainwater retention with a special focus on alder-ash woodland habitats of community importance. The project aims at the restoration of active water supply in the Turjános Nature Reserve of Dabas to improve the water supply of the southern part of the Turjan area, as well as at the introduction and installation of water management objects in the central area to retain rainwater. To increase the level of groundwater a complex water retention plan was designed including the establishment and the supervising of water management, water supply and water retention facilities. This is going to help preserve the isolated and drying alder and ash woodlands, but it would also have a beneficial effect on all other mesic habitats and their species in the Turjan area beyond the specific objectives of the present project.
2. Invasive elimination
Most of the invasive plant species (e.g. European Black Pine, Common Milkweed) will be removed by gentle chemical treatment and manual eradication during the project. Forest managers of the past decades have planted much of these consciously, which led to their forming homogenous patches within native stands and spreading on verges (mostly on sandy soil), which makes elimination difficult. During the project medium-term treatment is carried out, creating large stands (core areas) completely free from invasives.
The use of a gentle, non-drip chemical treatment is going to eliminate invasives from sand steppe and juniper-poplar habitats , and homogenous patches of non-native tree species or ones aggressively spreading on verges are going to be transformed into natives . The alder-ash swamp forests are going to be gently cleared from invasives, and alder and ash seedlings are going to be planted instead of the invasive stands.
3. The protection of the Hungarian meadow viper
The elimination of the previously mentioned homogenous patches help the long-term survival of the species. Two isolated forest patches are going to be transformed into clearings, and large areas of arable lands wedged into mesic grasslands are going to be restored into native habitats (withdrawn from forest and arable land category). Furthermore, large-scale mowing is going to be replaced by cattle grazing, which we consider to be the best practice in the management of the area. In the frame of the project a arable land is going to be purchased, which is a threat to the viper and the alder-ash woodlands due to its present and planned use (as an energy plantation).
There is illegal land use present on the shooting range, even though it is a military area. To prevent illegal road use, crossing gates are going to be installed on the access routes.
4. Education, communication
The active users of the shooting range are the military, to whom field work and lecture series are going to be given about the treasures of the area in the frame of the environmental officer training. A simple pocket book and a map with the important areas of the shooting range are going to be designed for them. The soldiers are going to get involved in monitoring tasks (data collection). Each year the locals are going to be allowed in the area, informed about the project activities and the outstanding conservation values of the area in the frame of “green days”.
The dissemination of information on the project is realized through press releases and brochures for both interested experts and the general public, as well as through notice boards erected in nearby villages. A project website has been launched as well, which contains a great amount of news and information on the implementation and development of the project.