Kampinos Wetlands 2013-2019

Wetlands conservation and restoration in
“Puszcza Kampinoska” Natura 2000 site LIFE12/NAT/PL/000084

About the project

Kampinos Wetlands and Kampinos WetLIFE are projects aiming to protect wetland habitats in the Kampinos Forest (central Poland).

Drainage activities that have taken place since the middle of the 19th century in the Kampinos Forest have led to the desiccation of marshes and the withdrawal of many rare plant and animal species. At present, the progressive purchase of privatly-owned land through the Kampinos National Park and the disappearance of agriculture in this area lead to the situation that drainage network built in the past has lost its economic importance in many parts of this area. As a result, many actions are planned to adapt water network to the current needs of nature in the Kampinos Forest.

In the years 2013 – 2019, we implemented the project “Kampinos Wetlands”, where we improved water retention around small channels draining the Kampinos Forest. (more)

Since 2020, we’ve been realising the project “Kampinos WetLIFE” that focuses on the lower part of the Łasica channel (from the village of Bieliny) and on the Zaborowski Channel (more)

Kampinos Wetlands (2013-2019)

The aim of the KAMPINOS WETLANDS project is to preserve and protect wetlands in Kampinos National Park (KPN), which is located within the Natura 2000 network. The main project objective will be fulfilled by the implementation of following tasks:

  • Permanent improvement of moisture content within selected wetland fragments of Kampinos Forest,
  • Halting of succession in the wet open habitats,
  • Limiting conflicts between the interests of nature conservation and local communities.

The characteristic system of watercourses in the Kampinos Forest requires specific restoration methods. The main watercourses in this area (Łasica Channel, Zaborowski Channel, Ł9 Channel and Olszowiecki Channel) drain water not only from the Nature 2000 site, but also from neighboring villages. The terrain periodically floods in the built-up areas, which evokes an understandable dissatisfaction within local communities. In this situation, the necessary condition for restoration activities is to maintain the current capacity of the main channels of the Kampinos Forest. Consequently, a concept has been developed that will simultaneously increase the soil moisture content of wetland habitats within Kampinos Forest, while at the same time the risk of flooding will be reduced. These effects will be achieved by adopting the following assumptions:

1. The main channels in the Kampinos Forest, which drain water from built-up areas will be excluded from restoration activities. Therefore, their ability to drain water from settlements located in the vicinity of the forest will be fully preserved.

2. Activities will be directed towards increasing water retention within KPN, and thus will allow for better drainage of water from adjacent areas.

The project will be implemented by a team consisting of the following institutions:

1.07.2013 – 30.06.2019

To fulfill aforementioned project objectives it is necessary to delay natural runoff from the area of the Kampinos Forest and convey water, flowing through the system of channels, to the lower layers. Thanks to this retention will increase, however relevant functioning and capacity of the channels will be still preserved. That directly will have a huge impact on flood protection for nearby towns and built-up areas.

Project activities will be conducted in most parts of wetlands in the Kampinos Forest, excluding the upper reaches of Łasica Channel, what is caused by high participation of private lands in this area. Additionally some part of the Olszowiecki Channel will be bypassed, as a result of botanical expert opinions, which state that moisture level in this area is adequate and does not need any modifications.

Delay in runoff will be achieved by two methods. The first one involves construction of dams along specific parts of the Łasica and Zaborowski Channel. As a consequence valuable moist habitats will be secluded from the channels. It will allow for longer stagnation of rainwater in this area, belonging to the State Treasury, and will help to decrease drainage. The second method concerns the construction of 40 small dams responsible for inhibition of excessive runoff during the dry periods.

New drains will link lower layers with the main channels. Those constructions will lead high water to the lower layers. Channel will be planned in such a manner, so as to stem drainage during the period of low water levels.

All aforementioned activities will be conducted with supportive undertakings, aiming to liquidation of conflicts between social development and water management. In order to this project assume land purchase of 120 ha, located in the lower region of the Łasica and Zaborowski Channel. Moreover a levee, situated near the Sadowo village, will be developed so as to inhibit floods, which constantly occur in directly located villages.

Additionally it is planned to elaborate a management plan of beaver population. Outcome will help to gain extensive information about the beaver population in the Kampinos Forest, its distribution and potential economic danger for human surroundings. Furthermore it will be crucial to gather polish as well as international guidelines and experience regarding minimizing damages caused by the beaver population. Those information will enable to elaborate, as part of public consultations, a relevant document indicating a possible scope of interference in the beaver population from the Kampinoski National Park. Aforementioned document, consulted among all interested sites, will help to expedite interventional activities in case of any urgent situation.

Other project tasks are: environmental monitoring, meadow mowing, as well as educational activities. Implementation of the project will be supervised by the Steering Committee including the representatives of: local government, Kampinoski National Park and Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection.

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