The project "Grodno region: reserved world" in Lipichanskaya Pushcha: colonies of storks, dormouse mouse and pines on the dunes

The project "Grodno region: reserved world" in Lipichanskaya Pushcha: colonies of storks, dormouse mouse and pines on the dunes

The unique history of the ancient forest

The republican landscape reserve "Lipichanskaya Pushcha" was founded on 8 October  2002 by the resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus. Its territory stretches over three districts of the Grodno region: Mostovsky, Dyatlovsky and Shchuchinsky. The total area is over 15 thousand hectares.


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- A reserve has been created in order to preserve the unique natural landscape between the Neman and Shchara rivers with a complex of complex river valleys, aeolian formations of significant area, rare and unique plant communities for Belarus, said the head of the department for control over the protection and use of lands, mineral resources, biodiversity, specially protected natural areas of the Regional Committee for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Dmitry Lebedev. The natural-territorial complexes of the reserve are represented by various biotopes, which, along with the presence of large watercourses and the inaccessibility of many forest areas for frequent visits by people, created conditions for the growth and habitation of rare and endangered species of plants and animals.


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It is curious that the reserve is not an integral territory, but as if it consists of two parts - Mostovskaya and Dyatlovskaya. They are connected by a narrow isthmus near the village of Volya-Krupitsy. The fact is that the nature reserve actually included Lipichanskaya Pushcha and the former Leonovsky nature reserve of the Dyatlovsky district. Therefore, it is not surprising that these two parts are so different.

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Mostovskaya part, located on the Upper Neman lowland, above both on the map and in terms of the landscape, are dunes, glacial lakes, old channels of the Neman and Shchara. Aeolian sandy hills and ridges that arose thousands of years ago are a rare phenomenon for Belarus. But it is they who determine the unique relief of the reserve within the Neman and Shchara.


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These hills are clearly visible, including near forest roads, which can be seen on maps of the 19th century. They are still used today. On the one hand, there is an embankment, on the other, a foundation pit, and the road seemed to sit on a level step ... The fact is that it was poured, it was made artificially. Such roads led from one settlement to another, as well as to the Neman, where there were ferries for communication with the opposite bank. There have never been large routes here.


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The Dyatlovskaya part is much lower, swampy places prevail there. Like the upper part of the reserve, it is also bounded by two rivers: Podyavorka from the north and Khlevnaya from the south. As for the Shchuchin region, a relatively small part of the reserve is located in this area - on the right bank of the Neman, where it makes a loop and abruptly changes direction.

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PUSHCHA PRODUCTION

It is known that the settlement of Lipichanskaya Pushcha began in the Stone Age, and by the beginning of our era, as the ancient burial grounds testify, it was all mastered by man.

In the 13th century, the territory of the Pushcha became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and after the Union of Lublin it became part of the Commonwealth. Accordingly, it was the property of the heads of state and belonged to the crown in the 16th century. Its use was strictly determined by the Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

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As often happened, the lands were later donated to representatives of powerful families. Lipichanskaya Pushcha was owned by the Radziwills, Tizengauzes, then the Chetvertinskie.

One of the notable chapters in the history of Lipichanskaya Pushcha is connected with the families of the Radziwills and Chetvertinskit. Namely, they founded factories for the extraction and smelting of bog ore into iron. They were located near the main raw material base, and the Pushcha was developed more and more actively, since charcoal was needed for the operation of the furnaces. The stoves that made it were in every village.


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There were also tar mines working on the territory of the Pushcha. One of the last, in the area of ​​Shimki village, ceased to exist in 1965. Today you can see its fragments, they are all wooden: barrels, trenches for the distillation of raw materials. There are practically no such objects on the territory of Belarus.

Lipichanskaya Pushcha was a breadwinner in every sense. Game, mushrooms, berries, rich in fish of the Neman and Shchara rivers (the old-timers even recalled that they could almost catch fish with a basket), acorns for animals ... Even in difficult post-war times, they say, life here was easier.

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As often happened, the lands were later donated to representatives of powerful families. Lipichanskaya Pushca was owned by the Radziwills, Tizengauzes, then the Chetvertinsky.

One of the notable chapters in the history of Lipichanskaya Pushcha is connected with the families of the Radziwills and Chetvertinsky. Namely, they founded factories for the extraction and smelting of bog ore into iron. They were located near the main raw material base, and the Pushcha was developed more and more actively, since charcoal was needed for the operation of the furnaces. The stoves that made it were in every village.

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There were also tar mines working on the territory of the Pushcha. One of the last, in the area of ​​Shimki village, ceased to exist in 1965. Today you can see its fragments, they are all wooden: barrels, trenches for the distillation of raw materials. There are practically no such objects on the territory of Belarus.

Lipichanskaya Pushcha was a breadwinner in every sense. Game, mushrooms, berries, rich in fish of the Neman and Shchara rivers (the old-timers even recalled that they could almost catch fish with a basket), acorns for animals ... Even in difficult post-war times, they say, life here was easier.


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Inaccessible to the enemy

The forest was also a protector. The forests and impenetrable swamps stretching for many kilometers served as an excellent shelter both in the war of 1812 and during the uprising of Tadeusz Kosciuszko. The well-known politician Sergei Pritytsky also launched his activities here, making the village of Volya-Krupitsy one of the bases of the underground, adherents of the Communist Party.


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The Pushcha became the center of the partisan movement during the Great Patriotic War. Since 1942, separate partisan detachments operated here, which were then combined into brigades. They burned bridges, derailed German trains, damaged communications, smashed enemy garrisons, freed prisoners ... The Lenin Brigade, created in December 1942 mainly from local residents, played a large role in the fight against the Nazi invaders in Mostovshchina.

There was also a hospital in Pushcha. When, in response to the active actions of the partisans, the fascists began a series of punitive operations and made another attempt to oust the partisans from the Pushcha and take possession of it, they tried to find this hospital. We came to the farm where the Filidovich family lived. Joseph Filidovich was a messenger of the Lenin brigade, and someone betrayed him. Saving his family from being shot, he agreed to take the invaders to the hospital. However, instead of what was promised, he took them into impassable swamps, repeating the feat of Ivan Susanin. Joseph Filidovich was posthumously awarded the Order For Courage.

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Today, among the Pushcha's forests, not far from the village of Goluby, there is a large, 100 hectares, field - the land of the Ozeransky agricultural enterprise. During the war years it was a partisan airfield. Basically, there were points for dropping provisions, medicines, weapons. Planes landed to pick up the seriously wounded.

Along the edge of this field, separating it from the forest, there are streams and low-lying areas. Previously, these were swamps - a place of refuge for partisans and civilians. During the war, dugouts were prepared for every family in the forest. This saved many lives, because almost all villages were burned down. Such a fate befell the village of Shimki. Now there is a memorial to the victims of fascism and hero-partisans near it. Nearby there is a dugout-museum and a partisan bathhouse.

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Despite all the attempts of the enemy, the Lipichanskaya Pushcha remained a territory closed to the Nazis throughout the war.

OAK IN THE FIELD AND BLACK BIRCHES

One of the unique features of Lipichanskaya Pushcha is its floodplain oak forests. They have been here since time immemorial. Near Shchara, the water washes away old oaks, they can be seen near the Shestyly parking lot. One part of the trunk lies on the shore, the other is practically in the water. Judging by the two-meter layer of silt that formed above them, these trees fell several centuries ago. More centuries passed, and a new oak grove grew in place of the trees. In relation to her - young. Although, in fact, this is one of the oldest oak forests in the reserve. She is about 350 years old, and oak trees in girth reach 4.6 meters. There are also pine trees, which are 140 years old.


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Another interesting oak grove, located near the village of Stukaly in the floodplain of the Neman. The trees are about 250 years old. This oak forest does not have undergrowth, it is of a park type. According to the director of the reserve, there are plans to give the oak forest the status of a natural monument.

- In general, oak forests occupy up to 7 percent of the territory of the reserve. As we approach the mouth of the Neman and Shchara, the forest changes and becomes more and more old. There are old-timer trees, which are up to 450-500 years old, and 200-year-old pine forests, - says Andrey Vorobei.

Another attraction of Lipichanskaya Pushcha is black birch. You can see her near the village of Shimki. It is also curious that the tree does not grow alone, but in close company, intertwined with roots and tightly closed with trunks close to the ground, with white birch and ash.

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As Oleg Sozinov, the head of the Department of Botany of Yanka Kupala State University said, Lipichanskaya Pushcha is especially valuable for its biotopes. In addition to oak forests, these are also pine forests on the dunes, black alder forests, and water communities. In Lipichanskaya Pushcha, you can also see very rare for Belarus communities dominated by fake butterbur and Russian camels.

For the conservation of species and populations, passports and security obligations have been developed. It is also planned to prepare a management plan for the reserve for the next few years with clear recommendations on what measures are needed to preserve the unique biotopes of the Pushcha.

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The largest population of green half-petals was found in Lipichanskaya Pushcha. They are extremely rare for Belarus and are found only in single specimens of sinuous succisella, Russian solyanka, garlic dubrovnik. Only a few populations in the area were found pyramidal tenacious, rarely found, but there is a curly lily in the forest, a ram floater. In the elders of the Nemunas there are communities of pure white water lily, Shchary - yellow egg capsules. Perennial daisies and a curved bruise - in the Podyavorka floodplain. In general, the flora of the reserve numbers more than 750 species of higher vascular plants, among which there are many endangered, as well as extremely rare for Belarus.

HALL FOR MIGRANTS

- From the point of view of biogeocenosis, the interfluve of the Neman and Shchara is a very important territory for migratory species. It is here that the migration corridor runs, which connects Polissya and Prinemanye,  notes Vitaly Humenny, the deputy director of the Grodno Zoo, ornithologist. - Here we observed gray cranes, broad-nosed ducks, three-toed woodpeckers, orioles and other species.

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The common crane lives on insular areas of raised bogs preserved in the floodplains of the Podyavorka and Khlevnaya rivers. In addition, a colony of white storks, the only one in the region, has been settling in a floodplain oak forest near the Neman for many years. A large merganser, rare for Belarus, and also a gogol, nest near the Neman and Shchara.

About thirty species of mammals are registered within the boundaries of the reserve. In the forests there are inhabitants familiar to our area, lynxes, wolves come. But one animal could become a real symbol of the Lipichanskaya Pushcha - hazel dormouse - a small animal of the detachment of rodents. She took a fancy to the forests at the confluence of the Neman and Shchara.


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TOURIST TRACKS

One of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of Lipichanskaya PUSCHA is kayaking or rafting down the Neman or Shchara. There are several routes for tourists from 1 to 3 days. Many people choose Shchara - it is not so deep-water, on both sides it is mainly surrounded by forest, different types of which constantly replace each other, not letting get bored. Along the way, there are parking lots with fireplaces, gazebos, field baths.


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A 34-kilometer cycle route "At the confluence of two rivers" has been developed and will be fully completed and marked this year. Travelers on it will be able to visit many amazing places. Among them is the Holy Trinity Sharansky spring, which was named after the temple that stood on the banks of the Shara, but was burned during one of the punitive operations during the war. The priest was killed. After a while, a krynichka appeared at this place. They say the water from it is capable of healing spiritually and physically. The Krynichka is now equipped, a cross has been installed, a small font has been made.


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This route will also lead to the highest point of Lipichanskaya Pushcha - Lysaya Gora, from where one of the best views of the Neman opens. 142 meters from the zero mark, about 20 meters - the height of the cliff. The Neman turns back here, making about a two-kilometer loop. When it turns sharply, it washes away the shore during the flood, because of which the trees literally slide into the water, leaving the mountain bald.

There is a route in the Pushcha for lovers of leisurely walking - an ecological path near the village of Shimki.

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The main attraction of all of them will, of course, be the amazing Lipichanskaya Pushcha with its century-old oak forests, forest dunes and untouched nature.

Grodno region:beautyonearth #Grodno region: reserved world

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