The international LIFE WILDisland project brings together 15 partners from eight countries from Bulgaria to Germany. One of the very worthwhile and valuable traditions of the project is the annual meeting in the home country of one of the partners. This year we at BROZ had the honor to prepare an unforgettable experience for all of us in cooperation with our colleagues from Fertö Hanság National Park. In addition to presenting our current plans and the results of the project so far, discussing with each other the needs and prerequisites for its successful implementation, we took two excursions to the project locations in Hungary and Slovakia.
The Erebe islands in Hungary form a large complex of 6 islands with an area of approximately 120 hectares. The objective of the FHNPD at this site is to restore the island complex, all with high quality and/or potential for soft floodplain forests (approximately 120 ha), and to reconnect the Danube side branch. These measures will restore a total of 7 172 m of water areas and improve the morphology on 111 ha. The Erebe islands also provide good conditions for the development of natural soft floodplain forests. The main negative impact is due to an invasive tree species (Acer negundo). Therefore, the LIFE WILDisland programme provides measures to combat this species both on Erebe island and on nearby island complexes.
On the Slovak side, we visited the wild islands in Klížská Nemá together with all partners. The project area is located on the Danube in the area of Klížská Nemá in the locality of left river bank outcrops, behind which sediment deposits and smaller islands are formed. The slope of the riverbed changes and decreases significantly here. Historically, the development of the Danube riverbed in this area has been less dynamic, but the influence of sedimentation processes has manifested itself in the formation of islands and various types of benches in the area above the slope break of the riverbed rather than in the area above the riverbed slope’s breaking point.
The aim of the restoration measures in the section Kližská Nemá – Gönyϋ, river km 1791, is to increase the diversity of the habitats and improve the lateral continuity in the embankment area of the outcrop system and to reinforce existing and newly created islands. The proposed measures should not only improve the local situation of the islands that have formed between the outcrops, but also improve the riverbed morphology in the wider area.
A nice finishing point for the tour of the project locations was a small local event – the Danube BROZ day at the Veľký Lél island, which we enjoyed with a presentation of our Danube projects, a creative programme in cooperation with SEV Dropie and a tasting of the best local produce. With the typical BROZ spirit and the joy of new experiences we continue our work on the Danube river, not only us but also all our project partners in the Danubeparks network.