Landscape in harmony

The main aim of the project was to create a model of sustainable use of the cultural landscape, based on natural, economic and social conditions of the area along the Slovenian-Hungarian border and to preserve the biodiversity of the Natura 2000 network. Project partners were National park Őrség, Goričko Nature Park Public Institute, Prlekija Development Agency, Municipality Apátistvánfalva and Ecological center SVIT. The project had a total budget of 1,3 milion EUR and was carried out between November 2009 and October 2012. The project was co-financed within the framework of the Slovenia-Hungary Territorial Cooperation Programme 2007-2013. 

Meadow in Goričko were threatened by intensification of land use like plowing into fields and land abandonment with overgrowth on the other side (photo: G. Domanjko)

The project was a response to negative changes in the use of meadows. In years before the project, meadow started to disappear because of the plowing meadows into fields and abandoning their use with consequent overgrowing. In order to reverse the negative trend of meadow disappearance, the project actively approached the search for active solutions for long-term conservation of meadows.

Small dairy factory equipment

Witin the project equipment for dairy factory was bought. The equipment was with public appel lend to interested cheesemakers. As a result of project, additional three dairy factories started working in later years.

Milk processing ensures sustainable and long-term use of meadows (photo: S. Dešnik).  

Agricultural equipment 

With the aim to enable long-term conservation of meadows and its sustainable and nature friendly use, agricultural equipment was bought by Goričko Nature park Public Institute for management of Natura 2000 meadow habitats. Tractor, scythe, tractor scythe and trailer were bought. The equipment is in use for management of Natura 2000 meadow habitats from year 2010 further. 

Agricultural equipment for Natura 2000 habitats management (photo: G. Domanjko)

Mapping of habitat types and butterflies
Experts mapped non-forest habitat types in eastern part of Goričko Nature park in 2012. The results showed big decline in Natura 2000 meadow habitat types as a result of agricultural intensification and land abandonment. Lepidopterists conducted a survey on butterflies with emphasis on scarce and dusky large blue and their host ants. The results were published in butterfly atlas of Goričko and Őrség.

Mapping of butterflies and habitat types (photo: G. Domanjko)

Butterfly atlas, plant guide, habitats guide and manual for farmers

As a part of the project different information materials were published. Based on results of the butterfly mapping, butterfly atlas Goričko and Őrség was published. Butterfly guide Őrség-Goričko was prepared with the aim to enable visitors to find the most interesting butterfly habitats and get an insight into the wonderful world of butterflies. Plant guide is a manual which enable the reader to identify interesting plants of Goričko, Mura and Őrség area. Each species discription is enriched with basic data on protection status in both states and its practical use. Habitats guide for visitors on marked trailes in nature protected areas was published with the aim to draw attention of visitors to the natural values of the area and to help the visitors to discover this values. Manual for farmers was published with an aim to introduce farmers how they can in everyday help to sustaine diverse and rich meadows. 

Within the project extensive materials on nature were published

Best meadow in Goričko Nature park

Goričko Nature park Public Institute together with Agriculture - Forestry Institute Murska Sobota in 2011 started with competition "Best meadow in Goričko Nature park" with the aim to promote diverse meadows and nature friendly management. The competition is carried out each year till today. 

Best meadow of 2011 (photo: G. Domanjko)

Board game "Meadow"
Board game was created with an aim to present meadows, its biodiversity and nature friendly management to children and their parents.