Latvian Ornithological Society Global alliance of conservation organisations working together for the world's birds and people

Passport of "Restoration of Latvian floodplains"


The Latvian Fund for Nature


2004 - 2008

The Goal:

  1. Restore flood meadows of the greatest biological value currently under the process of overgrowing.
  2. Provide subsequent management of flood meadows, favoring threatened bird species (Corncrake, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Greater Spotted Eagle, Great Snipe, etc.), invertebrates, the Hermit Beetle and habitats (flood meadows of rivers, park type meadows, fallow meadows with great abundance of species etc.).


  • Implement restoration of flood meadows in the most part of overgrown territories. Methods include removal of bushes, destruction of their root system, controlled burning, first mowing, experimental grazing. Obtain numerical facts on target species and habitats before and after management to indicate best management methods.
  • Prepare or resume nature protection plans for the selected territories. Preparation of the plans will be based on providing active participation of local residents, public discussions and existing evaluation biological data as well as on detail evaluation of the territory from the perspective of different nature protection experts.
  • Carry out exchange of information on management methods of flood meadows. Seminars, attendance of different other managed sites (including other Life-Nature projects) and creation of a manual for the best practical management of flood meadows.
  • Provide assistance for the farmers residing in the project territory with preparing applications for obtaining financial support within the Rural Development Plan to provide future management of the reconstructed flood meadows. Special meetings in the local authorities will also be organized, as well as individual consultations for land owners.

Anticipated results:

  • Implementation of the most urgent tasks for restoration of flood meadows, covering 2400 hectares in total. It will prevent decrease of the existing protected bird species populations (current estimation in all the territories in total: Corncrake: 398 - 685 pairs, Lesser Spotted Eagle: 21-29 pairs, Great Snipe: 59-120 pairs) and reduce decrease of protected habitats (Park Type meadows (~170 hectares) flood meadows of rivers etc.).
  • Preparation or revision of sustainable management plans.
  • The project will provide those involved in management planning for meadows with better knowledge on most successful management methods of flood meadows, providing both economically grounded benefits for humans and meeting the essential criteria for nature protection. Thus the risk of making the wrong decisions or using the wrong methods is considerably reduced.
  • Farmers and land owners will be educated on chances of as well as helped with obtaining subsidies for the management of meadows as provided in the Rural Development Plan. Sustainable and continuous management of restored and naturally valuable flood meadows will be provided as continuation of the project after its conclusion over a very long period of time.
  • The results obtained in the course of this project will provide considerable help for River Basin Administrations in formulating the goals of water status in the 16 selected sites of NATURA 2000.

Project teritories:

16 territories in all Latvian regions (excluding Riga): Sita and Pededze floodplains, Mugurve meadows, Pededzes lejtece (lower reaches), Dviete floodplains, Burga meadows, Meadows of Seda river, Vidusburtnieks meadows 1, Vidusburtnieks meadows 2, Ruja floodplains, Burtnieki meadows, Lielupe floodplains, Svetes lejtece (lower reaches), Kalnciems meadows, Rakupe meadows, Lake Durbe meadows, Uzava floodplains


Latvian Ornithological Society, Nature protection for, North Vidzme Biosphere Reserve and local municipalities


European Union LIFE-Nature program, UNDP Latvia/GEF, The Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Latvia

Project manager:

Inga Račinska