Forest Shelter-belts

Dobrudja is the region with the most typical continental climate in Bulgaria. The flatly plateaus and open planes from north-east are a prerequisite for common dust storms in the springs and heavy snow blizzards in the winters, in the recent past. All that was leading to wind erosion, unsuitable microclimate and destruction of crops. To prevent that government started afforestation of forest shelter-belts (FSB).

In the 50’s of the 20 century in Dobrudja ware planned 132 000 dka of forest shelterbelts. Till the spring of 1957 the planted area was 90 000 dka. Nowadays in the territory of  NESC (North-East State Company) – Dobrich region, a system of 65 215 dka forest shelter-belts is functioning, with total length of 4000 km. The area of the existing FSB is half of the planed and 2/3 of those established in the 1960’s. Sadly the system is damaged which is harmful not only for the crops but also for the animals which are using the belts as home and shelter.

Where the system is established and functioning the wind erosion is lowered 3 to 7 times, the dust pollution 2 to 4 times and the humidity is 22 – 27 % higher. The average increscent of yield is 15–35%, and the maximum is 2-3 times higher yield than the one produced in open field.  For the maintenance of the belts a wide range of forestry activities is needed, such as thinning and technical felling, falling without material yield, cutting of the branches and the crowns and the end rows trimming, renewable activities – cleaning, soil preparation, afforestation, cultivating and replenishment of new FSB. 

The belts Regional plans for the development of the forest territories are one of the most valuable ecosystems in Dobrudja. They are home to many mammals, reptiles, rodents and birds. After the enlargement of the agricultural lands, the FSB are the only shelter for many species, big part of which are endangered.  Most common mammals are hedgehog, hare, fitch, fox, deer and many others. The diversity of birds is huge, because this region is part of Via Pontica. For migratory species belts are offering resting opportunity and storm shelter. In the belts can be seen stork, partridge, quail, pheasant, gray and red-breasted goose, as well as a lesser spotted eagle.

The purpose of project LIFE18 NAT/BG/001051 „LIFE for Eagle’s habitats“ is new belts to be established and old to be repaired so the system to be rebuild in the way it was in the beginning. That was the area which the lesser spotted eagle inhabits will be preserved and enlarged, which is the aim of that project.  


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