The Triglav National Park, not too far from the border with Italy, is a well known tourist site in Slovenia. Inside the park, on the Pokljuka plateau, there is an extensive area of peat bogs, a very special ecosystem, with raised bogs, water springs, ravine and slope forests.
The pressure from tourism represents however a very serious threat to the park. What used to be a relatively isolated region, before World War II, has been transformed in the last fifty years in a popular resort area, with summer homes, infrastructures for winter sports and traffic jams.
The institution of the national park, in 1981, has managed to reduce and somehow control the expansion of residential and tourist infrastructures. However the pressure from visitors, in particular during the week ends, represents an unresolved threat, in particular for the areas in which the peatbogs are present.
The first actions to be undertaken were the collection of data on the state of habitats/species present in the area and the impact represented by visitors. The information collected was to be used in the elaboration of a management plan. The plan was to be drawn together with the representatives of local residents and to be approved by local municipalities.
The park was also to acquire 50 ha with peat bogs and build over 3600 meters of wooden fences so as to protect important peat bogs areas from uncontrolled visiting and grazing. A guard aided by volunteers, was to be responsible for surveillance.
The main effort of the project was however to be directed at informing local residents and visitors of the importance of peat bogs. Among the public awareness initiatives foreseen by the park there was the creation of an open Internet discussion space, were visitors would be able to criticize or make suggestions for improving the management and protection of the area.
The project was completed successfully.
Among the main achievements of the project there were:
- Preparation and approval of a Natura 2000 management plan. The plan, the first of this kind in Slovenia, was based on the indications coming from the Galway seminar and the Eurosite guide. It includes short and long term goals and sets guidelines for the management of species and habitats of EU importance present within the site together with other species present in the area. The description of the impact of human activity on the habitats/species is very detailed. The plan was based on an extensive collection of data, based on bibliographical material and field visits.
- The project managed to achieve a greater protection of the peat bogs areas within the park through the realization of 900 meters of wooden fences, to prevent access to the bogs by cattle and people (in Goreljek), 1450 meters of wooden fences around pastures surrounding Goreljek, to prevent cattle to wander towards bogs, 680 meters of hedgerows and wooden fences in sites known as Šijec and Blejsko barje, and other (1100 meters) minor sections in other areas with peat bogs. Moreover a total of 1100 meters of existing paths were closed down, redirecting visitors to other paths.
- A total of 5 ha of land (in nine different plots) were leased from private landowners to guarantee protection of peat bogs within their land for the next 25 years.
- In Goreljek the beneficiary completed an educational visitors path around a peat bog area, including 26 signs, to contribute raising awareness and understanding of the naturalistic value of the bogs. Another 20 signs were set up at other peat bogs area within the park.
- Finally an old timber-sledge path (800 meters) crossing a peat bogs area was closed and a new one (780 meters), moving around the peat bogs area, was built. One sector of the old path (120 meters) was not re-routed because an agreement could not be reached in time with the owner.
- The beneficiary has created a new website and a CD rom, organised a special exhibit and two seminars, plus a leaflet in both Slovenian and English.
Triglavski narodni park
Project Manager: Jurij DOBRAVEC