A1. Preparatory action, regarding the administrative and legal aspects of the project implementation.
Two technical meetings will be organized by beneficiary of the project. The activity targets the start of the legal procedures necessary for the beginning of the implementation and will consist of two meetings at the beneficiary’s headquarters.
The activity was completed.
A2. Analysis of stakeholders and socio-economic context in the area of the project
As a part of this action, an analysis of the main stakeholders (institutions, organizations, natural and legal persons) will be undertaken. In this regard, a questionnaire targeting those interested factors was created. The sociologic analysis methods aim at abandoning the „win-lose” concept, in favor of a „win-win” approach, seeking to highlight the advantages for each stakeholder. The activity will be developed in the villages nearby the two protected areas.
- The service rendering contract was signed with a firm, specialised in sociologic studies;
- The questionnaire model for each target group was handed in by the firm;
- Between January and March 2013, the sociologic questionnaire was administrated to 300 respondents, from different social categories.
- In March 2013, the results of the survey, comprised in the final sociologic study were delivered by the specialised firm, together with the associated database. The study contains all the aspects mentioned in the project.
- A report on stakeholders, which encompasses a synthesis of the sociological study was also delivered.
The activity was completed.
A3. Sites’ hydro-pedological regime assessment
The aim of this activity is to achieve the pedological mapping of the surfaces occupied with the marsh priority habitats 7210* and those of black alder alluvial forests (habitat 91E0*), together with the establishment of the underground water dynamics and hydrological regime.
- The mapping of the sites was obtained, by taking into account the features of the vegetation and the category of use, 4 types being identified.
- Terrestrial measurements have been executed, in order to delimit the four categories of land, as well as the hydrological network (natural and artificial) from the studied territory, which led to the demarcation of 6 hydrological study units ( 5 in Prejmer Marsh and 1 in Harman Marsh).
- The locations of the drillings were established and 45 were made ( 33 in Prejmer and 12 in Harman). The drillings were established by considering the network of channels and the hydrological study units.
- The former conclusions, regarding the natural setting reached under past studies were consulted, for a better understanding of the natural phenomena.
- Soil samples from seven locations were collected for analysis purposes, being the fundament of the pedological mapping. The selection of locations was made considering the hydrological study units, delimited by artificial channels, in order to comprise all land use/vegetation categories.
The activity was completed.
B1. Land purchase and off-payments in ROSCI0170- The forest and eutrophic marshes from Prejmer and ROSCI0055 Lempes Fortress Hill- Harman Marsh.
The action will target the acquisition of the following lands: in ROSCI 0170, 28 hectares of land, from which 8 ha of forest in the habitat 91E0*; 20 ha are in Harman Marsh, priority habitat 7210*; For ROSCI0055 there will be a unique payment to grant the concession of 3 ha of priority habitat 7210*, found on the administrative territory of Harman village and of 1 ha of habitat type 91I0*.
- The action involves collaboration with Harman and Prejmer City Halls, the institution administering these villages located nearby the two sites from the project area: ROSCI0170- The forest and eutrophic marshes from Prejmer and ROSCI0055 Lempes Fortress Hill- Harman Marsh, starting with the third quarter of 2013 till the forth quarter of 2015.
- The surface of 3 ha from Harman Marsh is currently in progress of concession (the evaluation of cadastral documentation has been provided to the local council, in order to make a decision).
- As regarding Prejmer City Hall, discussions with the owners of land, the mayor, the agriculture responsible agent, were held. There was no particular interest shown in buying, for no explicable reasons (the land price is above market levels, the price of one hectar is at an average of 1000-2000 euro, whereas we offer 2200-4000 euro/ha).
C1. The demarcation of the sites boundaries and surrounding the endangered marshes with a green fence (priority habitat 7219*)
Topographic measurements were executed for the exact establishment of the limits of the two sites. Topographic milestones were put in place to mark the perimeter of the sites. Moreover, a green fence will surround them.
A number of 250 topographic milestones were put in place in the two sites. This action was finalised for the Harman Marsh- ROSCI0055. The action was started in Lempes, on the boundary of Sanpetru, as well as in the Prejmer Forest. This action will continue in the following period and is to be completed in November 2013.
- The works foreseen in the acquisition documentation for Fortress Hill-Harman Marsh ROSCI0055 were completed, resulting in an area surrounded by 1200 linear meters of green fence.
- In Prejmer, the works began at the end of October, reaching 2 km at the moment.
C2. Natural status restoration, conservation and support of the ecologic processes in the alluvial forests of Prejmer (91E0* priority habitat).
The aim of this action is the restoration of the favorable composition and vertical structure of the black alder and common ash forests and improving the health condition of the alder through biologic measures, in demonstrative surfaces.
- In November 2012, the first soil mobilization works were done, in order to support the seedlings of alder and common ash.
- In mid May 2013, the suport of the natural regeneration of the black alder forest began, by means of unfolding the seedlings covered by invasive weeds, in a.u. 8H and 9H. In the month of June this action was completed for all the administrative units in the project. A surface of 1 ha was identified and marked, in a.u. 6D, where the degradation extent of the alder was evaluated. As a result, no significant attacks of Agelastica alni were identified. Taking into account the fact that the the vegetation season began late, tha Agelastica alni adults haven’t climbed into the canopy. The intensity of the attacks is different from one year to another, so the corresponding intervention will be adapted accordingly.
- At the end of October-beginning of November 2013, works were undetaken with a view to increase the consistency of the alder stands, by planting seedlings and seeds of alder, on a surface of 8,24 ha. The planting initiative made use of 1400 pieces of 2-3 year seedlings and 430 g seed, in surfaces of 1,5 square meters (at 100 seeds a quantity of 0,07 g and a no. of 714 seeds/m²).
C3. Measures to support the natural regeneration of Euro-Siberian forested-steppe with Querqus sp. vegetation of 91I0* habitat.
This activity comprises the following milestones reached by now:
As a part of this action, the following activities were performed:
- Collecting acorn from a number of 68 trees, which were previously marked for this purpose. The seed was gathered, sealed and labeled separately for each tree. The support of the natural regeneration through soil mobilization, will be performed, the release of the seedlings from natural regeneration, planting in order to supplement the regeneration and additions after the first year.
- Due to the abundant fructification in 2012, action C3 started a little earlier than was initially planned, respectively on 16th of November 2012, when acorn was collected, sealed and labeled in UP II Lempeș, priority habitat 91IO* from a number of 17 trees of Quercinee, action continued afterwards on 21st and 22nd of November 2012, reaching a number of 68 trees (marked as sample trees). The action was implemented by the employees of the Carpathian Foundation, together with the students of the Faculty of Forestry in Brasov.
- The collected acorn was submitted to thorough analysis, using the bio-chemical method with tetrazolium, aiming at determining: the germinative potential, the cultivation value, the weight of 1000 seeds, no. of seeds/per kilogram, no. of viable seeds per kilogram of pure seed. The analysis was conducted in the Institute of Research and Forest Engineering (ICAS), in Brasov.
- For the actual planting, pots and plastic bags were used, 4 pieces of acorn planted per pot. Thus, 1.750 pots resulted, respectively 7.000 acorns planted. Presently, the seedlings are wetted. Due to the high amount of acorn collected and the resulted seedlings, planting the obtained oaks will be preferred to planting those obtained through cutting.
- 21 February 2013 – The establishment of the accuracy of the habitat 91I0*- Eurosiberian silvo-steppe with Querqus spp. from ROSCI 0055- Fortress Hill Lempes-Harman Marsh- Activity C3- Measures to support the natural regeneration of Eurosiberian silvo-steppe with Quequs spp. vegetation of 91I0*.
The purpose of this meeting was to establish the accuracy of the habitat 91I0- Eurosiberian silvo-steppe with Querqus sp., as it has posed some concerns to the experts of the project. Consequently, the special guest, Biris Iovu, habitat expert at the Institute of Forest Management and Research Bucharest (ICAS Bucharest) and the entire technical staff of the project, have discussed with a view to make a decision on the location of the support of the regeneration of the silvo-steppe with Querqus spp. vegetation.
All the characteristics of the location were taken into consideration: the ecological and pedological requirements, the presence of glades, the flora characteristics, the composition of stands, the normal sequence. By observing these characteristics, it was concluded that the habitat resembles the steppic characters, with some extra-sesonalities (Biris). Steppic lawns, which are suitable from both floristic and stand composition point of view, could be delimited.
After the theoretical discussions at the headquarters, the specialists of the project and their guests, have undertaken a field visit, in order to identify the habitat. Thus, in administrative unit (a.u.) 2E, the presence of the 91I0 habitat was confirmed, but on restricted areas. In the vecinity of a.u. 2E, a better quality of this habitat was detected. It was therefore decided that the support of natural regeneration to be extended in other plots (2D, 14A), by maintaining the surface of 3,4 ha. Moreover, the fir tree introducted in 1N, 1K, 1F can be harvested (it has reached the harvest age), and the oak can extend in these three parcels, where the ecological conditions necessary to 91I0 habitat are met. The three parcels belong to the private forests for which the forest managent plan will be revised only in 2015. In the next period, the negociations with private owners will begin for the extention of habitat 91I0.
C4. The ecological restoration and conservation of the eutrophic marshes from Prejmer and Harman, priority habitat 7210*
This will be achieved by digging some parts of the drains and protecting the springs against warping.
- In the Harman Marsh, two channels with a total length of 1,1 km were identified and measured. The two channels are on the limit of the site and surround the Harman Marsh from two sides. For obtaining a natural drainage, a clay and rock dam was constructed on one of the drains. This dam has the role to increse the level of the underground water and to warp the river bed of the channel. This is a natural warping and it takes time to occur (between 1 and 5 years, depending on the meteorological conditions). The second channel is to be drained, naturally, after constructing two clay dams. This will be done, when all the plants have already flowered, in order to avoid destroying plants with high conservation value.
- In Prejmer Marsh, 5 channels were identified, with a total length of 2,1 km, which are to be drained in the future.
- In March-April 2013, 71 springs were identified and marked with the GPS system in the two marshes, out if which 7 were chosen for protection purposes (2 in Harman Marsh and 5 in Prejmer Marsh). The seven springs were marked with an identification stake, the dry vegetation (hubs and branches) and waste were removed.
- Four areas with old drains were identified. In July-August 2013, a mowing action was performed and the removal of stubs, in order to diminish the willows and poplar capacity of growing back.
- A demonstrative surface of 3,5 ha was identified and delimited in the field, in order to eliminate the invasive species. This action was performed in June, before the fruits’ ripening, to avoid the multiplication.
- The areas where plants with high conservation value (e.g. Adenophora liliifolia and Liparis loeselii) were identified were delimited in the field and harvesting the seeds and the cuttings will be done after their ripening.
- March 2014 – Aquisition and settlement of a greenhouse, vital for the multiplication of the threatened species.In March, the greenhouse foreseen under action C4- Ecological reconstruction and conservation of Prejmer and Harman eutrophic marshes-priorty habitat 7210* was bought and assembled. This is one of the most important aquisitions in the framework of the project, being vital for the multiplication of the threatened species: Liparis loeselii, Ligularia sibirica, Adenophora lilifolia. Moreover, it will be used for lodging the seedlings of oak (Querqus sp.) and alder, until trasplanting them to the field area. The greenhouse owned by the partner ICAS was used prior to this aquisition.
- In the last weeks of July 2014, the Carpathian Foundation team has worked intensively in the field to eliminate the invasive species. The following invasive plants were removed: Canadiensis Solidago (Goldenrod Garden), Rumex alpinus, Tusilago windbag, Cirsium arvense (thistles), Urtica dioica, Arctium lappa, Plantago major, Phragmites communis (reed) Colamagrotis epigeios from the Harman Marsh. Cutting these species during the vegetation season, to reduce their regeneration will mitigate the competition for water and the choking effect for the protected plants.
- August 2014 – The fungal treatment applied in order to combat the disease caused by Microsphaera abbreviate pathogen- the mildew of oaks.In the “Fortress Hill Lempes- Harman Marsh” protected area, based on the field observations, the infestation of some oak individuals (Quercus sp.) with the disease caused by the pathogen Microsphaera abbreviate –the mildew of oaks- was detected. Immediate action was taken on the affected surface by treating it with a systemic fungicide: TILT, concentration of 0,03 %. In order for the process of splashing to be efficient and cover the whole surface, the team of intervention has used the atomizer purchased through the LIFE for MARSH project.
C5. Diminishing the human negative impact on the priority habitats in the area of the project.
This action implies implementing measures to reduce the intensive grazing, the artificial firing of the lawn and combating the disorganised tourism.
There were three meetings with the mayors and farmers concerning the regulation of grazing , meetings in which owners of animals, the agricultural representative, authorities (representatives of the Environment and Water Agency) participated (March and April 2013), before grazing started.
- The scope of these meetings was to present to the animals and land owners the importance of protected areas, emphasizing the need to respect their boundaries and give up grazing within their limits. The collaboration agreements were discussed and signed afterwards.
- In the beginning of March, two active patrols, made up of four field engineers, were created. They conduct regular visits in the site, in order to evaluate the human activities with harmful potential (disorganised tourism, excessive grazing).
- The most recent meeting with the stakeholders took place on the 22nd of October, at the Faculty of Forestry. This meeting was oganised with a view to establish the grazing rules for the next year. It is the outcome of the meeting with the specialists held on the 15th of October, where the banishment/restriction of grazing for one year was considered vital for the efficiency of the conservation actions.
- At the beginning of November 2013 , the works for diminishing the provoked firing of lawn were initiated, by ploughing a 2 meters wide stripe of land.
- In order to combat disorganised tourism, between the 17th and 28th of March, 20 picnic areas were set up, in the implementing zone of LIFE FOR MARSH project. This initiative is a part of the C5 action, which has as main purpose the mitigation of the human negative impact on the priority habitats of the project. Consequently, all those willing to spend time in the open air, in a civilized manner and without having a negative impact on the biodiversity conservation are invited to use these specially created areas. Each picnic zone consists of a wooden made table and 2 benches, rooted in concrete, mentioning the financial support of the LIFE + Nature project. These are concentrated in three areas: the spring in the Prejmer Forest (before Caprioara Halt)-2 pieces, the skygliding meeting point-4 pieces, while the other will be installed soon.
- 16th of April -Meeting for grazing rules settlement for the next year
- Mid-June 2014 – The installation of the first electric fence. For protecting the habitats and the species of interest, the first electric fence was installed in Prejmer Marsh. A surrounding of 1000 meters of electric fence was put in place, using 2 or 4 wire system. In order for the system to reach maximum capacity, the vegetation near the wires is eliminated weekly.
C6. Developping a GIS database containing the data collected in the project
So far, the works executed were concentrated on gathering data for the thematic layers, which were integrated in a database. They were used for generating maps.
D1. Monitoring the evolution of the hydrological regime of the soil
The humidity of the soil in the area of the project will be assessed with the aid of some sensors measuring its level 20 cm deep.
The action will be undertaken in the area of the two sites of the project ROSCI0055 – Lempeş Fortress Hill–Hărman Marsh and ROSCI0170 – The Forest an eutrophic marshes of Prejmer, starting with the third trimester of 2013, till the end of the project, twice, in the interval September-October, in order to determine the conservation status and March-November for the rest of the indicators.
D2. Monitoring the impact of the conservation actions
The efficiency of the conservation measures conducted for the support of the natural regeneration of the black alder, oak and the increase of their consistency will be monitored.
The action will be undertaken in the area of the two sites of the project ROSCI0055 – Lempeş Fortress Hill–Hărman Marsh, ROSCI0170 – The Forest an eutrofic marshed of Prejmer, starting with the third trimester of 2013, by the end of the project, twice, in the interval September-October, in order to determine the conservation status and March-November for the rest of the indicators.
D3. Monitoring the socio-economic impact
Annual questionnaires will be created, in order to highlight the attitude of stakeholders regarding the importance of Nature 2000 network for biodiversity conservation and reconstruction of deteriorated habitats.
The activity will begin in the forth trimester of 2016 and will end in the third trimester of 2017.
E1. Promoting the objectives and results of the project
- 300 brochures, A5 format, 6 full color pages (image/text proportion – 70/30), with suggestive images were designed and printed;
- The project’s objectives, results, partners, financing sources, LIFE’s programme main benefits, the title of the project, its logo, the LIFE logo were also included in the brochures;
- The banner of the project, containing the project’s identification information was created;
- 100 posters, A2 format, full-color, polished paper, containing information about the species that are to be promoted in the project;
- 600 personalised pens were ordered from an external supplier, containing the title and the logo of the project, its logo and the LIFE and the EU logo;
- The first informative event took place at the faculty of Forestry, on the 26th of October 2012, with the specialists.
- The reorganization of the informative events was considered necessary, as the city halls representatives were identified to be directly involved in the project.
E2. Website and discussion forum
- The project’s web site www.fundatiacarpati.ro/formarsh was designed in Romanian and English, in October 2012.
- The forum of discussion and the social media page on Facebook was created in the first trimester of 2013 https://www.facebook.com/lifeformarsh.
E3. Designing and installing informative pannels and drafting the Layman’s report
A number of 12 informative pannels, containing the description of the project and other useful information, contact details of the partners, the address of the website were installed (May 2013). A report for the general public will be elaborated at the end of the project.
E4. Awareness rising campain for promoting the SCIs and their socio-economic benefits
The awareness campain will target both the general public in the area of the project, respectively the local communities and students in the area of the project and the owners of forest and Nature 2000 sites administrators, at local and national level.
- For the good implementation of the awareness campain, personalised materials were designed (Caps, T-shirts, brochures, posters)
- In the 26th of April 2013, the first campain took place, gathering students from the 5th and 6th grades from Prejmer (60 students), from the 2nd and 3rd grade from Harman (40 students) and the 7th grade from Lunca Calnicului (20 students), accompanied by 6 teachers.
The students were divided into 2 teams:
- A team went to ROSCI0055 – Lempeş Fortress Hill–Hărman Marsh;
- The othe team collected garbage in ROSCI0170 – The Forest an eutrofic marshed of Prejmer;
As a result of the ecological education campain, 3 piles of waste were collected (PETs, household waste, bags, electronics, etc.).
In order to prevent people to throw their waste in Nature 200o sites, persons passing by were handed in brochures. The local police was very cooperative and the action was completed in great safety.
Friday, the 22nd of November 2013, the second sanitation action took place. The team of the Carpathian Foundation, together with students from the Faculty of Forestry, members of the hunting club, gathered waste in the Prejmer Forest and Harman Marsh. As a result, 150 bags of waste were collected, proving the lack of ecological education still existent in our country. This actions aims at changing this mentality, by means of involving the youth in this type of actions.
- 31 March- 4 April – LIFE FOR MARSH Green Week.An entire week dedicated to a cleaner environment! It’s the way in which the Carpathian Foundation, together with students and professors of the Faculty of Forestry in Brasov have decided to pull an alarm signal to those who enjoy the beauty of nature, but often forget to take care of it. And the proof of this are hundreds of garbage bags collected in 5 days (31st of March-4th of April) from the area of the project LIFE FOR MARSH (The Forest and eutrophic marshes of Prejmer and Lempes Fortress Hill-Harman Marsh). Students of 3rd and 4th year participated in this action, together with prof. Daniel Iordache (UNITBV), managing to clean 8 areas (the area near the sanatorium, the area near the Caprioara refuge, the spring, the forest and the edge of the road to Bod, Prejmer Marsh, Prejmer Forest, Fantanita area, the location near the containers). We were surprised by the volume and diversity of the garbage thrown away (pampers, rasers, clothes, footwear, bottles, pets, household waste), which confirms the fact that despite of the efforts of the media and of the pro-nature militants to change the perception and actions of general public, the fight is still at the beginning. The initiative adjoins other actions conducted by organizations in the month of forests (15th March-15th April) and with the come of spring. Let’s go green!
E5. Diminishing the stakeholders’ impact on the conservation status of the area
This action aims at proving the stakeholders that traditional activities can be practised without posing a threat to the conservation status. Three exchanges of the local communities (Prejmer, Harman, Sanpetru) with similar areas in the EU will be undertaken. Moreover, two thematic tracks will be developed, one for each site.
The first meeting with similar areas took place between the 30 of May to the 2nd of June 2012, at the national park Donau-Auen, in Austria. The local community of Harman together with the project team went to the area. The programme was composed of park visits, discussions on the problems local communities are facing there, the influence of the national park , the evolution of the park and the difficulties encountered. There was a Q&A session regarding ways in which the attitude of the stakeholders in the area of the project could be improved.
The second visit is planned for the period 28th of November-1st December and will gather representatives of the local communities of Prejmer and Sanpetru, together with the specialists of the University of Transylvania Brasov, The Faculty of Forestry, of ICAS, Carpathian Foundation, The Environment Protection Agency Brasov, ANIF, Environment Authority.
The two thematic tracks are in progress. They will include the architectural treasures of the area (The Prejmer Fortress- one of the seven fortified churches of Trasylvania-UNESCO World Heritage Monument).
The second meeting with similar areas took place between the 28 of November to the first of December 2013, at the national park Donau-Auen, in Austria, and Ferto-Hansag park in Hungary.
- As the ecological education begins at an early age, the LIFE FOR MARSH project’s team organizes in this period a contest addressed to the pupils of the schools in the communities of Harman, Prejmer, Sanpetru and Brasov (V-VI-VII-VIII Grades). The pupils were given a study support course with the essential information about the protected areas where the project is implemented, the protected species, the LIFE NATURE + financing reasons, from which they were subsequently tested to establish the winning candidates, which will depart to the Donau Auen National Park, Austria. The trip will take place between the 26th and 29thof June. The activities planned comprise the visit of the Park’s Center, cruise on the Danube, camp fire, interactive presentations and activities, visit of the Zoological Garden and Schonbrunn Palace and of the city center in Wien. As a result of the selection process, there were chosen 11 pupils from the “Emil Racovita” Natural Science High-School Brasov, 11 pupils from the Gymnasium School of Prejmer and 10 pupils from each of the Harman and Sanpetru secondary schools. The students were tested also for English knowledge, as an eliminatory task. They will be accompanied by 10 professors and by part of the team of the project, in the whole trip.
- 30 June 2014 – Exchanges with similar areas in the EU (other wetlands part of the Nature 2000 sites network). Third meeting with representatives and communities from a similar area implied an exchange with the National Park Donau-Auen, in Camp Meierhof Eckartsau, Austria. This national park is located between Wien and Bratislava and protects one of the last remaining major wetland in central Europe. At this meeting was attended by children from communities Hărman, Prejmer, Sânpetru and Brașov (Classes V-VI-VII-VIII), teachers and Carpathian Foundation staff.
- At the beginning of August, the first thematic track of the LIFE FOR MARSH project was completed- “Nature- step by step”. This track is two-way – you can either start from Harman (near the fortress), or from Sânpetru (near the fortified church). The duration of this trekking route is 2-4 hours. The available activities are hiking, observing the flora and fauna. The route contains 6 thematic pannels. Two of them have general information about the route- a small map, its duration, the available activities, both being located near the fortresses. The others contain information about the marsh, the water circuit, the old oak, the plant species characteristic to the site, the fauna present in the area. So, dear nature lovers, we are pleased to invite you to a nice and relaxing walk!
F1. Project management
The project management is ensured by a team of 4 persons, employees of the beneficiaries of the project (Project Manager, Scientific Responsible, Assistant Manager, Financial and Acquisition Responsible, Administrative Responsible).
- The activity begun with a meeting of the management team, for identifying and establishing the main responsibilities. The meeting ended with signing the documents ascertaining the fact that each member has understood the responsibilities associated with his/her role.
- The office-based activity of the project will take place at the ICAS Headquarters, at the following address: 13, Closca St., in an office of 30 square meters.
- The activities of the project are coordinated by a work group.
- The job descriptions for the implementation team were finalised.
- The schedule and periodicity of meetings was established.
- The work protocols for mutual teams (involving employees of different beneficiaries) were drafted.
F2. External Audit
- An external audit mission will be performed by an independent auditor at the end of the project, in order to verify compliance with the legal provisions and ascertain that the expenses incurred in the project’s implementation were accurate, correct, budgeted, costly efficient.
- The external audit service was subcontracted.
F3. Experience exchange with other LIFE projects
- The LIFE FOR MARSH team participated in the final conference of the LIFE project Anglesey and Llyn fens restoration, between the 9th and 11th of October. The project is implemented by Natural Resources Wales, in UK.
- The conference was centered on presenting successful restoration techniques, which led to a favorable conservation status of fen habitats, that have been previously neglected.
- The programme was made up of study cases, presentations, discussions, field visits, all being a lively proof of the success of this project.
F4. „After-LIFE” conservation plan
In the last quarter of the project, a meeting with the aim of creating a plan of action for the continuation of the activities of the project will take place.
The project is financed through the support of the LIFE Nature instrument of the European Union. The EU contribution amounts to 885.731 euro, representing 69,96% of the total project value.