After several years of efforts, negotiations with farmers, administrating permits, building fences and placing a well with watering holes, on August 15 we managed to bring cows to Apál Island, located at the confluence of Váh and Old Nitra rivers.
The island is a national nature reserve, which, in addition to floodplain forest, also consists of meadows, where the locals used to graze animals in the past. Within LIFE Danube Floodplains project in previous years, we pollarded willows at this location, mowed areas intended for grazing and removed invasive trees (ash-leaved maple, American ash). The meadows that have been treated this way, cleared of overgrowing vegetation, will welcome subsequent help in the form of grazing.
Therefore, in cooperation with a local farming company from Vrbová nad Váhom, we released 20 cows to the island, which will take care of grazing the vegetation and keeping the wet meadows in a favorable condition. In this first phase, we placed the animals on the front meadow with an area of 7 ha, another 19 ha meadow in the back part of the island will follow soon. Such care for meadows is of great importance for pollinators, flowers, insects and birds – for the biodiversity of the site as a whole. Because as we keep repeating – grazing is amazing!