Swis Nature

Záhorie Protected Landscape Area


From traditional nature friendly management to ecotourism

Since ancient times Danube region was densely populated and the river itself as well as the adjacent land used for the benefits of mankind. Not only for water transport or fishery but also for gold washing or water mills construction. Nearby floodplain forests offered plenty of game and wood. Unfortunately gentler methods were replaced by intensive forest management with large-scale clear cuts and planting of monoculture hybrid poplar plantations with short rotation period. Also traditional small-scale agricultural methods were abandoned (grazing of farm animals, mowing of lowland meadows, pollarding of head willows for firewood and material for basketry) and the agriculture has become intensified with all the negative consequences of chemical application and mechanization. Today we see attempt to return to traditional management – as demonstration serves Veľkolélsky Island, where conservationists succeed to restore grazing of animals (cows, goats, sheep and horses), mowing of lowland hay meadows, pollarding of head willows. At the same time natural tree species composition is being supported here (by planting of native floodplain trees and removal of invasive and non-native species) and water regime of Veľkolélske was successfully restored. All this contributed to creation of rich ecotourism offer for public – visiting of local mini zoo with farm animals, Hucul horse riding, guided excursions, bird watching, rowing, cycling and others. Thanks to the ideal location Danube floodplains are visited by large number of tourists from the capital, the entire region as well as by foreign visitors from neighboring countries and the whole Europe. This area is accessible by the international cycling path Eurovelo 6 as well as waterway. Danube floodplains attract also many birdwatchers as the river branch system represents important migration corridor and wintering place for waterfowl. Danube and its tributaries are widely used for water sports – canoeing or kayaking, swimming and fishing. Nature lovers are also attracted by precious nature reserves.