Project activities

Cutting and removing shrubs of low value
Upper reaches of the river Dubysa are located on the eastern skirts of Kurtuvenai regional park. River-basin extends on the eastern slope of the Samogitian highland that determines exceptional features of it – narrowness and steepness. Such features by the river Dubysa were inherited from the glacial period. Alond the right bank of it, during a retreat of the glacier towards the lowlands, it has been there a becalmed edge of the glacier. After retreat of the glacier edge, water stream was forced to flow along outside moraines, left at the place of glacier stand.
A streamway of the river Dubysa in territory of the Kurtuvenai regional park was formed not only by natural processes. A channel Venta – Dubysa in 1825 – 1831 was dug by Russian soldiers with intention to connect the river Venta with the basin of the river Nemunas in order to create an especially strategically important connection for Russia with the Baltic Sea, so bypassing mouth of the river Nemunas. Upper reaches of the river Dubysa from Bubiai to the spring, Šiaušė was bypassing with 23.5 km length channel. At present moment, the channel is naturalised and not used, and it is crossed with a streamway of the Dubysa in certain places. The main water stream flows sometimes in its natural streamway, sometimes in its channel, simultaneously converting the earlier streamway to a marshy wash. Therefore, clashing of two forces (nature and human) made unique structure of the two streamways, where on the valleys of it there is a forrnation of natural meadows; however, some separate places contain marshes.
During spring melt-water, an increasing water debit of several tenths of times provided conditions not only for the meadows seating, but also for survival of it. For long years, the structure of the meadows has been also supported by pastured cattle, horses and sheep. Nevertheless, reconstruction of the upper reaches of the river Dubysa (installation of Bubiai pond) has significantly reduced the debit of the river as well as spring floods. Due to changing times and changed possibilities, it literally ruined any small farms for which small areas of the flooded meadows, inserted between streamway of the river Dubysa and the bypassing channel, were useful. Today, unused originally natural meadows with multiple varieties of grass gradually decline. Invadive species, rude vegetation spread, and open areas overgrow with burn bushes.
In order to preserve this unique natural complex, it is necessary not only to restore open areas but it is also extremely important to return any interrupted farming activity to those territories. For the sake of this goal, the directorate of Kurtuvenai regional park together with the directorate of Salantai regional park are in their process of implementation of the LIFE+ financial instrument and a project „Restoration of the degrading European-scale habitations in national parks of Lithuania“ LIFE 10 NAT/LT/117, which is partially financed by the Environmental ministry of Lithuanian Respublic. 
Updated: 2015.07.12