Restoring the natural river valley of Dviete

  • Country:
    Latvia
  • Start year:
    2006
  • Location:
    Dviete
  • Size (ha):
    400
  • Area Type:
    Latvia
  • Type of protection:
    Natura 2000, nature park

The Dviete valley is a Natura 2000 area of almost 5,000 ha. The area is particularly important for its breeding populations of grassland and marsh birds, and acts as a stopover for migrating geese. Species like snipe, corncrake, lesser spotted eagle and tern are plentiful in the area.

Cattle in the swamps of Dviete valley

Area

  • Habitat types: River floodplain meadow
  • Keystone species present: Corncrake, Great snipe, meadow dependent species
  • Fauna (mega) species present: Moose, Red Deer, Wolf, Lynx, Eagle
  • Fauna species reintroduced: Horse (konik), Cattle (rewilded cross breed)
  • Vegetation types present: Meadow, swamp

Scope

  • Description: In the 1930s Dviete valley was mined and the river channeled. Consequently the once open marshes with reed, wet meadow and hayfield largely turned into a dense jungle of willow bushes. ARK Nature and the Latvian Fund for Nature (LDF) are working together to restore the old original river route to contribute to the return of swamp and wet meadow vegetation. Natural grazing and the simultaneous removal of bush store are used to restore the openness of the valley.
  • Aim: Restoration of natural wetland grasslands and natural river route.
  • Vision: Natural river valley in which natural processes as flooding, ice forming, 'sponginess', natural grazing and predation are fully present.
  • Accomplished in 10 years from now: Large scale contiguous natural areas including a natural river system with natural processes such as natural grazing by large herbivores and predation.
  • Uniqueness: The Dviete is a tributary of the much larger river Daugava. Particularly during snowmelt in Spring the entire valley is filled with water from the Daugava. Floating ice and prolonged flooding ensure a part of the valley remains free of trees. In its size it is unique for the region.
  • Results so far: Natural grazing areas on now 30 (from 20 to 2000 ha) spread across Latvia combined with small-scale tourism.
  • Flagship species: Feral horses
  • Other characteristics: Community involved, Eco tourism, Sale of sustainable products

Exchange

  • Inspirational value: .
  • Experience you would like to share: Natural grazing, river restoration, local involvement, nature and agriculture, nature education, eco products (wild meat)
  • Experience you would like to gain: Intensifying relation people and nature

Video

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