The main objectives of the project are to manage Natura 2000 sites in the West-Inner-Somogy natural region (south-west Hungary) and rehabilitate natural habitats that have been degraded. The project seeks to improve the water supply of the forests, smaller swamps and grasslands of Szentai Forest Natura 2000 site as well as retaining precipitation in the area and thus stabilising the favourable ecological state.

Project activities started on 1st September 2013 and – as per schedule – will be finished in 5 years. The creation of reservoir in the forest Bükk, the conservation of the unique Lake Baláta, dredging the Kűvölgy Lake System and constructing two additional lakes will be performed in the winter of 2014-2015. In order to retain as much water as possible bottom thresholds will be built in watercourses. All conservation actions will be monitored in order to reach the best results in the improvement of the water supplies of the project area. Invasive plants will be eliminated and service roads will be reconstructed. A 960 m long educational trail with two resting places will also be created.

The project will affect more than 2.100 ha. The objective of the project is to retain the available water-quantities and to increase the level of underground water by 10-20 cm – which would result in favourable ecological impacts. The water supply of swamps and narrow forests along watercourses becomes stable, maintaining and conservation of wet habitats will be easier. The suppression of invasives will be supported by the better and frequent water supply of habitats and stabilising the natural state.

The reservoir creation at the Bükk forest means the creation of a 147 cm deep reservoir (0,86 ha), and as the result of the enlargement of Lakes Kűvölgy by two additional lakes resulting in another possibility for water retention on a total surface area of some 7,7 ha. The existing watercourses and lakes will be maintained and conserved. At Lake Baláta a gutter will be built in order to retain water while retention of watercourses at Taranyi-Rinya will be solved by building river bed ribs (~230) in the total length of 26.5 km. In order to best perform monitoring activities of the concrete conservation actions, there will be 14 plots designated where 100-100 sample trees (Alnus glutinosa) would be determined. The state of the trees will be examined twice a year. Service roads will be reconstructed in a length of 6 km.

The consortium of KASZÓ Forestry Stock Company and Forest Research Institute (ERTI) was awarded a grant of 994.126 EUR in order to implement its project proposal called “Restoration and conservation of Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior in the Kaszo area” in the framework of the LIFE+ Programme of the European Union.