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Nemzeti Park Igazgatóságok


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» NDM - Field visit
NDM - Field visit
 

Two field visits are planned, involving two Natura 2000 sites.  Delegates will be transported by boat and bus.

 

1. Lake Balaton

Lake Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe. The water surface is 600 km2, the lake is 75 km long, 8-10 km wide and the average depth is 2-3 meters. It has a pleasant climate and an amazingly diverse environment. The mosaic-like landscape and geomorphology result in a rich and diverse flora and fauna – for this reason, the lake is a Ramsar site and part of the Natura 2000 network too. The Balaton is a Special Protection Area and also a Special Area of Conservation (HUBF30002).

The whole water body of Lake Balaton is in state property. The management of Lake Balaton has to strike a balance between nature conservation as well as other types of usage: recreation, drinking water supply, commercial fishing and reed harvesting. Balaton Uplands National Park Directorate is the nature conservation manager of the lake: the Directorate oversees fishing activities, reed harvesting and takes measures for landscape protection.

Viticulture has been typical in the region since Roman times. The climate, the soil and the tradition makes Balaton Uplands one of Hungary’s most significant wine regions. The vineyards and the press houses (many of them built from local rocks) are now part of the natural landscape. People living close to nature for hundreds of years have a balanced give-and-take relationship with nature.

 

The dominant vegetation types are reeds and marshy meadows that are still in close-to-natural state, while a bit further from the lake there are oak woodlands and dry grasslands. The habitat types, for which Balaton SAC was designated, are the following:

  • 3150 Natural eutrophic lakes with Magnopotamion or Hydrocharition - type vegetation, 
  • 6410 Molinia meadows on calcareous, peaty or clayey-silt-laden soils (Molinion caeruleae),
  • 7210 * Calcareous fens with Cladium mariscus and species of the Caricion Davallianae,
  • 7230 Alkaline fens.

The lake is an important staging area during the bird migration and wintering season, for more than 25-40 thousand individuals of waterbirds. Waterfowl with remarkably high numbers of individuals are Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula), Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula), Smew (Mergus albellus) and Common Pochard (Aythya ferina). In the migration season, gulls and terns form groups with some hundreds of individuals at the feeding and roosting sites.

Other animal species of community interest are: European Otter (Lutra lutra), European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis), Knife (Pelecus cultratus), White-finned Gudgeon (Gobio albipinnatus) and Asp (Aspius aspius).

The participants will travel by boat from Balatonfüred to Tihany. During the field trip information about Balaton and its usage will be presented.

 

2. Tihany Peninsula

The Tihany Peninsula is located a few kilometres from Balatonfüred. The peninsula was formed by volcanic activities millions of year ago.

 

The peninsula was inhabited since prehistoric times. The village of Tihany was founded in the Middle Age, when King András I established the Monastery of the Benedictine Order in 1055.

In the Turkish era the monastery was transformed into a fortress and was later destroyed. It was rebuilt in baroque style and in our days the complex of buildings crowns the picturesque village. Its crypt carved into the tuff, includes the tomb of the king as well.

Besides the culture, the natural heritage is also very rich. For the protection of the natural values, the first protected landscape area of Hungary was established in Tihany Peninsula in 1952. It covers 1,562 hectares, of which 195 ha are strictly protected. The Tihany Peninsula is part of the Natura 2000 network too, it is a Special Area of Conservation (code: HUBF20006). The Geyser Cones of Tihany received a European Diploma in 2003.

The typical species of the arid forests are oak (Quescus pubescens), ash (Fraxinus ornus) and Venetian Sumac (Cotinus coggygria). The most important habitat types, for which Tihany Peninsula SAC was designated are 91H0 * pannonian woods with Quesrcus pubescens and 6210 * semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia). One of the rare nesting birds of the peninsula is the Scops Owl (Otus scops), and in summer nights we can often hear the loud call of the Red Cicada (Tibicina haematodes) and the Cicada orni living in these forests.

We find several rare, protected submediterranean plants (Sternbergia colchiciflora, Scilla autumnalis) in the grassy steppes of Tihany. In the south part of the peninsula there is a lavender plantation (Lavandula angustifolia). The lavenders were planted here in 1924 and the lavender oil was one of the most famous ones in Europe. 

During the field trip we will visit the Belső-tó (Inner Lake) and the Kis-erdő-hegy (Little Forest Hill).

 

Belső-tó

Belső-tó is a lake situated directly under the village of Tihany and it is almost perfectly round with the clear water surface. It lies 26 m above the level of the Lake Balaton in the sunken caldera formed by volcanic activity. Belső-tó is a popular angling area. A few years ago a smaller herd of grey cattle was brought to the meadows of the south side of the lake. Protection of domestic animals is as much a mission for nature conservation as is the protection of wildlife. The grey cattle is well suited for restoration and management of abandoned and weed-infested pastures or acidophilous moorlands.

After that the national park directorate carried out a successful reintroduction experiment and established a viable population of European Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus citellus), which had become extinct on the peninsula a few years before. The European Ground Squirrel is one of the most typical small mammal species of the Hungarian short grass steppe. In the middle of the last century the number of occurrences of this species decreased drastically and it resulted in a strong isolation between the populations.  For this reason, reintroduction programmes were needed to establish new colonies – one of the most successful ones was here in Tihany Peninsula. The population counts are now around some hundred individuals. If weather conditions are favourable, during the field visit we can see plenty of these lovely rodents.  

 

Kis-erdő-hegy

Rising between Külső-tó (Outer Lake) and Belső-tó are the remnants of a caldera rim. The basalt cliffs formed during volcanic activity have been dislodged from their original place by subsequent land movements.  Softer rocks were sculptured by the wind and thus formed the „windswept cliff”.

The top of the hill is covered by rocky grassland and slope steppes, and several typical species of oak bush forests grow on the hillsides.

The shallow Külső-tó is situated 116 m above sea level. Birds breeding here include Greylag Goose (Anser anser), Great Bittern (Botaurus stellaris) and Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus). Since a few years an extensive breeding colony of Great Egrets (Egretta alba) can be observed here.

 

We look forward to meeting you at Lake Balaton!

   
 
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