Representatives of 12 out of all 15 WILDisland project partners gathered between October 5-7th in Hungary and Slovakia to jointly follow the progress of our actions and celebrate the Danube Festival 2023.
The meeting was co-hosted by the Fertő-Hanság National Park, Hungary and BROZ, Slovakia and the main part took place in Szigetköz, Lipót, Hungary. We started with the DANUBEPARKS General Assembly in the first day. Then, in the afternoon, each WILDisland partner presented the highlights of 2023 and the plans for 2024 as well as the status quo of their main conservation actions.
We are happy to report that with minor exceptions, the project is running smoothly and fairly in time. We are still mostly at the stage of technical planning and obtaining of the formal state permits, but there are good indications that some of our major construction works involving groyne adaptation, side-arm opening and dredging in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia, Croatia and Romania will start towards the end of 2024. At the same time, forestry actions against invasive species are already running in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. At the same time, we have all started the pre-monitoring of the state of our project sites before the start of the construction works and also completed the first stage of the first joint Danube-wide socio-economic survey. Follow us for regular up-dates and news!
On the second day of our meetings, we visited one of the WILDisland target sites of the Fertő-Hanság National Park, the Erebe island complex. On site, we discussed the actions planned, including the opening of a blocked side arm and ensuring a constant flow for most of the year to improve the hydrology and restore the dynamics of the area. Our Hungarian colleagues are also working on eradicating invasive species on the island and improving the state of the natural softwood forests.
On the third day, we started our trip from Hungary on motor boats and crossed to Slovakia in order to visit the area of Klížska Nemá, one of the WILDisland project sites of BROZ. There we looked at the plans for adapting the groynes to allow for water flow and restore the island character of the adjacent river bank. Later on, we moved to the island of Veľký Lel, an area restored by BROZ, actively maintained by grazing and improving the water access and retaining.
We ended our journey at the EcoFarm Ostrov, where our hosts from BROZ had prepared a wonderful Danube Festival with local food, merchandise and loads of activities for young and old.
We would like to cordially thank the entire team of the WILDisland project for their great work and commitment and we are looking forward to our joint efforts to establish the Danube WILDisland Habitat Corridor!