Large parts of Mura's wetland habitats restored
A three-year project involving the renaturation of wetland habitats along the entire course of the Mura, one of the most pristine rivers in Slovenia, has been completed. Over 106 hectares of wetland habitats have been restored in the most extensive such project on the river to date.
The main objective of the €4.6 million project was to restore aquatic, forest and grassland habitats along the river which are protected as part of the EU's Natura 2000 network, according to the head of the Natura Mura project Aleksander Koren from the Maribor unit of the Nature Conservation Institute.
"We have restored ten hectares of wet meadows, 32 hectares of riparian forest, two oxbow lakes, dug 20 ponds, renaturalised three kilometres of the Mura, connected more than nine kilometres of Mura's side channels to the main watercourse, and acquired almost 30 hectares of land," he said.
Koren pointed out that measures had been designed and implemented in a way that helped address the broader ecological problems of the Mura. He mentioned dredging, problems with the degradation of riparian forests, and the need to secure adequate quantities of good drinking water.
"All of this depends on the health of the Mura ecosystem, and the measures taken on the ground will add a little bit to flood safety as well," Koren said.
Almost 125,000 trees were planted and ample opportunities to learn provided via three information centres, four nature trails and five obstacle courses.
The project involved the Institute for Nature Conservation, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Spatial Planning, the Water Directorate, the Slovenia Forest Service, the SiDG state forest company, the municipality of Velika Polana and the Murska Sobota Development Centre.