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Natural Resources

Protected Areas

Long-forest Nature Protection Area

Long-forest Nature Protection Area

The Bodrog River is one of the most spectacular rivers in Hungary, which remained almost in perfectly natural shape, a living river. Its floodplain is huge, full of oxbow lakes, boggy areas, and patches of woodlands. The Long-forest a lush forest with oxbow lakes is wedged between agricultural areas. Water lillies on the watersurfce, Summer snowflakes (Leucojum aestivum) and Marsh peas (Lathyrus palustris) flourish on the boggy oxbow lakeshores. Wildlife is plentiful as well, small songbirds nest inside the woods, Grey herons, Egrets sweep and watch on the shores, in undisturbed areas, Hobby (Falco subbuteo) and Black stork (Ciconia nigra) live.

The Long-forest and its surroundings are protected under the Ramsar-convention as internationally recognized habitat for water and shorebirds, the area is also part of the Natura 2000 network, because of its flora and fauna.

The total area is 1123 hectares, open for visitors.

Megyer-hill Tarn Nature Protection Area

The Megyer-hill, with its 324 meters height is a volcanic, mid-miocenic riolit-tufa cone from the Cenozoic era. These rocks, soaked with silica-acids got extreme rigidity, which makes them suitable for mill-stone production. On the Megyer-hill, quarry operated from the 15th century. To remove the water which accumulated in the quarry, they started carving out a canal in 1844, which project lasted for decades.

In the abandoned mill-stone quarry, a lake started to shape, which lake was later called Tarn. The total water quantity is about 4000 cubic metres, the deepest point of the lake is 6,5 meters deep. There are small dwelling-cavities next to the Tarn; they used to be used by the miners.

The total area is about 1 hectare, open for visitors, part of the Mill-stone study trail.

Sárospatak, Almond-hill

This – seemingly bare - landscape provides excellent habitats for valuable plant communities; it preserves the rich botanical character of the Hegyalja region. Its untouchedness is due to the fact, that the rocky area is unsuitable for viticulture; still, the area is covered with one of the most spectacular Amygdalus-Cerasus community of the northern Matricum-floral area. In early spring, the hill is ornamented with flowers. The rock cherry's fragrant white flowers mix with the almond's pinkish-red sea of flowers. In this time of the year, the hyacinth colured Pasque flowers (Pulsatilla grandis) bloom along with Iris pumila. At the end of the summer, decorative Stipa species bloom.

Total area: 7 hectares, open for visitors.

Bodrogszegi Fort Hill (Várhegy) Nature Protection Area

Not far from the Bodrog River, above Szegi village there is a small, 299 meter high island-like hill. This soft, crumb structured riolit-tufa hill is capped with a hard andesite top, thanks to a volcanis eruption in the past. This is where a mud fort was built prior to the Settling of the Magyars, more than 2000 years ago. On the hill, Diantho–Seslerietum, Ceraso mahaleb-Quercetum pubescentis communities live, there is Burning bush (Dictamnus albus), and Dwarf almond (Amygdalus nana) blooms in springtime, which paints the hill into pinkish-red color. This is where the Snow pear (pyrus nivalis) is native. The most valuable plant on the hill is the Bearded iris (Iris aphylla subsp. hungarica). There is no road leading to the top, so it is hard to approach.

The area is 2 hectares, open for visitors.

Tokaj-Bodrogzug Protected Area

It contains two separate areas: the Nagykopasz-hill in Tokaj and the Bodrogzug area, these two are meant to preserve different habitats.

Total area is 4.242 hectares, from which 665 hectares are strictly protected. Apart from the strictly protected areas it is open for visitors.

Nagykopasz-hill of Tokaj

Nagykopasz-hill of Tokaj

Nagykopasz is the highest (512 meters), largest and in the same time one of the youngest volcanis "witness hills" in Hungary, which is covered with loess on quartzandesite and riolit baserock. Because of the centuries old grape cultivational traditions, the originl flora of the hill is pushed back to those parts of the hill where the viticulture production proved to be impossible. On the strictly protected warm southern slopes, Ceraso - Quercetum pubescentis plant communities and Inulo - Festucetum pseudodalmaticae are dominant, while on the lower skirts of the hill valuable steppe meadows run down. In these meadows, flowers live in awe-inspiring varieties; the area is home of more than a dozen species of orchids, Burning bush (Dictamnus albus), Small pasque flower (Pulsatilla pratensis subsp. nigricans), Pasque flower (Pulsatilla grandis), Pheasant's eye (Adonis vernalis), Stipa species, Golden flax (Linum flavum) and Onosma arenarium. Even from this remarkable species list, stands out the Aster oleifolius, of which plant's only habitat is this very hill in the Carpathian basin. On the northern slopes, Querco petreae-Carpinetum communities mix with beech and lime, on the ground Turk's cap lilies (Lilium martagon) garish. Orchids and gentians (Gentiana pneumonanthe L.) live on clearings and meadows.

The fauna of the Nagykopasz is also remarkable, in this arid environment, several reptile species live, beside lizards, some are more noteworthy, like Smooth snake (Coronella austriaca) or the Adder (Vipera berus). Among birds, we can mention the rare, Rufous-tailed rock-thrush (Monticola saxatilis) which is still quite common here, Eurasian Eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) regularly nests here, Ural owl (Strix uralensis) has been documented, and in loess walls bee-eaters (Merops apiaster) live in groups. In the woods, Badgers (meles meles), and wildcats (Felis silvestris) hunt, from the weasel family: Pine marten (martes martes) and Stone marten (Martes foina) live.

Bodrogzug

The several thousand hectare Bodrogzug area got flooded generally twice a year, when lower areas became fully covered with floodwater. Between the floods, the water world is an unspoiled, "idyllic" place for the wildlife. On the marshy areas, reeds and sedge communities thrive, while on the oxbows, beautiful pondweed communities live. In shallow, boggy waters, water chestnuts, common duckweeds, floating watermoss, water lillies, yellow floating-heart flourish. Marsh gentians (Gentiana pneunomanthe), several species of Buttercups, Oxeye daisies live on moist meadows and even Siberian Iris (Iris siberica) can be found. In the waterworld of the Bodrogzug, several species of frogs, snakes, and one species of tortoise live. In shallow, warm waters we can spot European Mud-minnow (Umbra krameri) or European weatherfish (Misgurnus fossilis). The most spectacular representatives of this rich wildlife are undoubtedly the birds: Grey heron, Purple heron, Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), Little egret, Great White Egret nest in the area. On boggy meadows, Corncrake (Crex crex) while on drier places Quail (Coturnix coturnix) give their voices into the wind. Inside of less travelled forests, Black stork (Ciconia nigra) nests on treetops. Among birds of prey Marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus), Montagu's harrier (Circus pygargus), Short-eared owl (Asio flammeus), Black kite (Milvus migrans) cruise the sky.

Locally protected areas

Schoolyard, Sárospatak

This 7-hectare park, as a schoolyard is the only one of its kind in Hungary. The original purpose of these yards was to host classes for students that are why they put benches along the paths. The overall picture of the park now is based on the original design of the schoolyard and we can see the results of the last 50 years of planned landscaping works. The Kossuth and Erdélyi Collegium's park were founded in 1931. Its rich dendrological collection contains 50 ornamental trees and shrubs. The park is bordered by 60-year old alley of Lime trees.

The park is a graceful environment for the statues which immortalize historical persons who studied here and later became important persons in our nation's life.

Fort garden, Sárospatak

Fort garden, Sárospatak

This protected park lies inside the town, within the Fort's territory. The garden culture flourished in the age of mother superior Zsuzsanna Lorántffy, in the 18th century. This remarkable woman successfully experimented with Italian trees, for example she grew and harvested Pomegranate in her garden. The garden was originally created in the 16-17th century, under the Bretzeinheim family's rule. Its present shape is remained after Henri Cavet who designed this as an English-style garden in 1826. Today's Fort garden preserved only a few ancient specimens, among which the second largest Hungarian Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) with an outstanding 512 cm perimeter. Other remarkable trees are in the garden: a Pagoda tree (Sophora japonica) with 406 cm perimeter, two Manna Ashes, one with 358 cm, and the other with 372 cm perimeters.

Pácin, Castle park

In the Bodrogköz, on the shores of the Karcsa creek, we can find one of our most remarkable renaissance castles, the Mágóchy-castle in Pácin. The 30-hectare park around the castle, the natural environment which holds characteristics of an oxbow lake and a floodplain deciduous forest, spiced with some exotic elements, harmonizes with the buildings. The most important tree species in the park are: Field maple (Acer campestre), Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur), Large-leaved Lime (Tilia platyphyllos), Grey Poplar, Black poplar (Populus nigra), Scots pine (Pinus silvestris), and Black pine (Pinus nigra). In the park, there is a well-grown, rare River Birch specimen. Only recently the reconstruction works of the park and the castle (from 1581) began.

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