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About project

Project „Nature mosaics - protection of species and habitats in Natura 2000 site "Pieniny"” is financed by LIFE+ financial instrument of the European Community and the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management

Beneficiary: Pieniński Park Narodowy, ul. Jagiellońska 107 b,  34-450 Krościenko n/D
Duration: 01.09.2013 – 30.06.2018
Total budget: 1 276 538 EUR
EU contribution: 638 269 EUR (50%)
NFOŚiGW contribution: 573 924 EUR (45%)
Pieniny NP contribution: 64 345 EUR (5%)

„Mosaic” is the best way to describe the „Pieniny”. It is an area characterized by enormous natural richness, diversity of landscapes and mosaics of land ownerships. In order to preserve this unique site it is necessary to apply various protection methods.
The main objective of the project (implemented from 2013 to 2018) is protection of natural habitats and species in the „Pieniny”. This will require steps taken to re-establish  traditional extensive farmland activities that support grassland habitats on land purchased during the project, and perform protective activities that will reduce negative impact of tourism on the environment. The project framework includes active protection on: thermophilous rock grasslands Festuco Brometea (6210), Mountain hay meadows (6520), Alkaline fens (7230), Asperulo-Fagetum beech forests (9130), Medio-European limestone beech forests (9150) and Tilio-Acerion forest of slopes, screes and ravines (9180).

Land purchase and its protection
Over 40% of the land in „Pieniny”  is private, community or municipal property,  what makes it difficult to conduct protective activities. Therefore approximately 40 ha of private land is planned to be purchased during the implementation of the project. An estimated 24 ha of non-forest habitats (meadows, fensand grasslands) is planned to be protected by cutting shrubs and trees, annual mowing with removal of biomass and layer of dead grass from previous years. These activities will protect valuable habitats and their floristic richness. Remaining 16 ha constitutes forest land and is planned to be excluded from the current extensive use.

Trails repair
In order to protect natural habitats of Asperulo-Fagetum beech forests (9130), Medio-European limestone beech forests (9150) and Tilio-Acerion forest of slopes, screes and ravines (9180), some 1260 meters of trails is planned to be renovated. This activity will prevent from negative impact of uncontrolled tourism (shortcuts, straying  off  designated trails that can cause soil erosion). In addition, the project foresees the improvement of tourist infrastructure aiming at development of signposts, information boards, benches, stairs etc.  The repairs will be carried out in several sections: Trzy Korony, Góra Zamokowa, Czerteż  and  Sosnów.

Protection of the Pieniny Treacle- mustard Erysimum pieninicum
The population of Pieniny Treacle-mustard growing in the area of ​​the castle hill in Czorsztyn is exposed to mechanical destruction caused by shedding of the external walls of the castle. It is also threatened by unfavourable changes in the habitat (overgrowing by shrubs). As a part of the planned activities, the renovation of external walls of the castle will be  finished. This will allow to clean up the castle area by removing scaffoldings and tools needed for the renovation works . The castle surrounding area will also be managed by  annual shrub cutting to protect  the  habitat for this endemic species..

Protection of rock grasslands
Since the abandonment of grazing rock grasslands  they  have been threatened by encroaching of forest species, allowing natural afforestation to occur. In order to stop this process, it is necessary to introduce shrub cutting with manual removal of the biomass, what  will replace the current extensive agricultural activities.  The project will  be implemented on about 8 hecatres of rock grasslands..

Protection of breeding sites for  amphibians
Cultural sheep grazing in the  Majerz glade in Hałuszowa contributes to preservation of traditions and maintain specific grazing land biocoenosis. However, it also poses a threat to the breeding sites of amphibians. One pond and drinking bowls for sheep will be  constructed within the framework of the project.  In addition, the outflow of water  will be secured for animal use.

Removal of invasive species
People often contribute to the spread of alien invasive plant species.  When appearing in the environment, these plants become a serious threat to valuable native species and plant communities.  Protection  of riparian  alluvial forests, located along the Dunajec river, and their specific flora will  be implemented  through the removal of foreign species - Japanese Knotweed and Sakhalin Knotweed.
All protective measures will be subject to monitoring their effectiveness for the conservation of natural habitats and species and regeneration of  ground cover.
For the dissemination of information about Natura 2000 and the idea to preserve the wealth of "Pieniny" area, a series of educational activities for children and young people is planned.  along with workshops for teachers, tour guides, raftsmen and representatives of the local authorities. The project outcomes and gained experience will be summarised at the final conference which is planned in 2018.

Translated by: E. Zając, A. Kowalski