The main beneficiary of the Turjánvidék LIFE + project is the Danube-Ipoly National Park Directorate. The five year nature conservation programme is being implemented with the help of three other partners, the Defence Economic Office of the Ministry of Defence, Budapest Forestry Company and WWF Hungary.
The Danube-Ipoly National Park Directorate (www.dunaipoly.hu)
The Danube-Ipoly National Park was founded on 28 November 1997. The present operation area of the Directorate covers Pest, Fejér, and Komárom-Esztergom County.
The Danube-Ipoly National Park’s area covers the Pilis, Visegrád, and Börzsöny Hills, a part of the Ipoly Valley between Hont and Balassagyarmat, and some areas of Szentendre Island. The diversity of the area is unique in Hungary due to the fact that it is a meeting point of rivers, hills, and plain.
Several other protected areas belong to Danube-Ipoly National Park Directorate as well:
- Eight protected landscape areas: Ócsa PLA, Vértes PLA, Gerecse PLA, Buda PLA, Sárrét PLA, Gödöllő Hills PLA, Sárvíz Valley PLA, Tápió-Hajta PLA.
- And thirty-three nature reserves: Adony NR, Arboretum of Alcsút NR, Belsőbáránd-Tátorjános NR, Chemotaxonomical Botanical Garden of Budakalász NR, Botanical Garden of Budapest NR, Cegléd Meadow NR, Juniper Thickets of Csévharaszt NR, Turjános NR of Dabas, Dinnyés Morass NR, Dunaalmás Quarries NR, Kakukk Hill NR of Érd, Fóti-Somlyó NR, Gellért Hill NR, Royal Palace Park of Gödöllő NR, Háros Island Floodplain Forest NR, Jókai Garden NR, Palace Park of Martonvásár NR, Geographical Centre of Hungary NR, Rocking Stones of Pákozd NR, Surface of Pál Valley Cave NR, Forest Park of Pereg NR, Rácalmás Islands NR, Rétszilas Lakes NR, Sas Hill NR, Sandpit of Székesfehérvár NR, Surface of Szemlő Hill Cave NR, Production site of Szentendre Rose NR, Tamariska Hill NR, Kálvária Hill NR of Tata, Pasture of Tura NR, Botanical Garden of Vácrátót NR, Bird Sanctuary of Velence NR, Prehistoric Settlement NR of Vértesszőlős.
The most important duty of the Directorate is the planning and execution of maintenance of the protected areas, organisation of research, and asset management. In addition, the basic objective is the conservation of the landscape’s emblematic image, intactness, undisturbed wildlife tranquillity, richness in species, and purity of waters; the protection of forests, soil, and other renewable resources; preservation of cultural values.
An important research activity is the continuous monitoring of wildlife, which means a long-term observation of certain features of the selected habitats and associations. Based on the data gained from these observations, changes in the condition of nature can be followed.
In the framework of habitat protection programs, we counteract the negative effects of human interventions in order to preserve protected species.
Regarding the protection of species, we managed to achieve significant results in the conservation of Ferula sadleriana (‘magyarföldi husáng’), Liparis loeselii (‘hagymaburok’), Nepeta (or catmints), and Linum dolomiticum (‘pilisi len’). Without effective interventions, the Hungarian meadow viper (Vipera ursinii rakosiensis) would certainly become extinct; the protection of red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus) and the saker falcon (Falco cherrug) populations is realised in the framework of species conservation programs.
There are about 34 rangers on duty in the area of the Danube-Ipoly National Park Directorate. Their principal duty is the guarding of areas, habitats, and species under protection, and by different conservation authority instruments the prevention of causing further damages: spot fines, misdemeanour or criminal accusation.
For the preservation of natural values, it is essential to inform the population extensively, to widen people’s knowledge, and to enhance commitment towards nature conservation. Therefore, visitors are welcome in the entire operational area of the Directorate throughout the year with diverse programs: we organise events and guided tours on our nature trails, and operate demonstration sites. Beside our twelve nature trails, the Forest School of Királyrét in Börzsöny, the “Pilis Len” Visitor Centre, the “Kökörcsin” Forest School in Esztergom, and the “Pálfája” Educational Centre in Nagykőrös offer popular programs as well. Beside caves reconstructed for tourists, participation in so-called “jumpsuit” tours in non-reconstructed caves is also possible. There is a lookout and a trail with interactive exhibitions and a panoramic terrace operating in the Visitor Centre of Sas Hill in Buda; in Jókai Garden, in Buda, under the huge trees of the park, we displayed information boards demonstrating Jókai’s age and the natural values of the garden, the instruments of the bird-friendly garden, and Hungary’s rocks; we guide tours with rented bicycles and canoes on Szentendre Island; and we offer ethnographic and nature value related craft and field programs in the historic buildings of the House of Regional Traditions in Ócsa. It is worth visiting the 40-hectare English Garden of the Arboretum of Alcsút all year round, but it is especially nice from mid-February to March, when it is covered by snowdrop fields. The Dinnyés Morass also worth a visit because, particularly during autumnal bird migrations, huge flocks of teal birds and thousands of wild geese can be observed.
Defence Economic Office of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Hungary
The Defence Economic Office of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Hungary is a background institution for the Hungarian Defence Forces (English abbreviation: HDF) specialized for completing tasks related to the accomodation conditions, the environmental, administrative and residential needs of organizations governed and controlled directly by the Minister of Defence besides the operation, representation and development of immovables used by them.
The Department for Environment of Defence Economic Office operating directly under the direction of the General Director is responsible for the nature conservation and environment affairs at the Ministry of Defence (English abbreviation: MD). Lawmaking, comprehensive and operational management of environmental affairs at the HDF and execution of EU-financed projects have top priority among the general scope of duties.
The Defence Economic Office is also in charge of:
- keeping immovables trusted by the MD in good environmental conditions;
- preparation of immovables trusted by the MD according to environmental regulations;
- fulfilment of the regulatory requirements;
- remediation of contaminated areas trusted by the MD;
- satisfying of nature conservation and environment criteria in pursuance of military activities;
- tasks related to the adoption of the environmental guidelines of NATO;
- preparation and completion of speciality tasks derive from our EU-membership.
Budapest Forestry Company (www.bp-erdo.hu)
The Budapest Forestry Company is a 100% public institution, thruogh the Ministry of Agriculture. Its aim is the coordination of military activities with forest-, game- and land management activities. Established in 1993, the Budapest Forestry Company has been active in the following fields:
- forest- and game management,
- reuse and recycling of forestry by-products,
- marketing of tourism and hiking,
- maintenance of community recreational installations and protected geological and natural values,
- conservation of the natural and cultural heritage.
The Dabas Forestry Directorate of the Budapest Forestry Company works on an area of about 10,000 ha. The working area consists of forests (~4,400 ha), grasslands (~3,200 ha), arable land (~1,400 ha) and other, non-cultivated areas (~1,000 ha).
Special attention is paid to the highly important task of protecting biodiversity and maintaining natural processes. In recent years environmentally friendly ways of land use have gained importance.
WWF Hungary (www.wwf.hu )
WWF started its activity in Hungary in 1986 and launched its office in 1991. With regard to its nature conservation goals the organisation focuses on forests, rivers, wetlands, extensive land use, the conservation of some endangered species, as well as general environmental problems. The main goal of WWF Hungary is to improve the ecological status of species and habitats in Hungary and to contribute to that goal on European level. WWF’s method is the combination of political activities and field work, which provides a functioning model to habitat management and –reconstruction activities. Target groups and partners of projects include authorities, researchers, local communities and decision makers.
The organisation has many years of experience in projects on habitat-rehabilitation (grasslands, wetlands), sustainable land use (forests) and species conservation (beaver, lynx, European pond turtle, gossamer-winged butterfly). Beside field work WWF pays special attention to communication: they draw the attention to problems, influence decision makers, and disseminate project results. Beyond the Trujánvidék project WWF has already participated in the implementation of other LIFE projects as the coordinating or as associated beneficiary.