Project LIFE Stržen has begun
In September, Notranjska Regional Park started with the implementation of project LIFE Stržen, along with DOPPS – Birdlife Slovenia, The Fisheries Research Institute of Slovenia, the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation and the company Hidrotehnik d. d. This 5-year project is financed by the LIFE Programme. Its total budget is nearly 4 million Euros.
One of the key project activities is the renaturation of watercourse Stržen. In the past, about 14 km of watercourses have been redirected into straight channels, in order to dry out the lake. These regulations caused faster water outflow, which led to reduced biodiversity in and around the lake. A couple of years ago, Notranjska Park restored parts of the watercourses Tresenec and Goriški Brežiček, now they plan to do the same with Stržen. This complex and daring plan will return Cerknica Lake to its former image and increase water retention time. When the watercourse is restored, some water will remain in it even during dry periods. This will have an especially positive influence on the living conditions for birds and fish.
This project will also finance the establishment of an entry-exit point for vessels on Cerknica Lake and a thematic educational trail, which will guide visitors with information boards and signposts to the newly established bird observatory overlooking the lake.
This will redirect visitors away from private land and the most sensitive areas of the lake, which is part of establishing a quiet zone for Bittern. This mysterious bird only nests on Cerknica Lake in Slovenia. We will try to capture one bird and equip it with a tracking device. This will give us information on where and how it moves, what living conditions it prefers, how far and when it migrates, and when it returns.
We will organize numerous admission-free events. Some of them, such as thematic Sundays and the traditional Days of Notranjska Park, have already become an invaluable way of spending free time and socialising for locals and visitors alike.
LIFE Stržen will give a lot of attention to children and youth. There will be yearly creative competitions, which will encourage the children’s creativity, and nature excursions that will enable them to find out more about the features of the karstic landscape surrounding them in person. Two free youth camps will also be organized.
Educational seminars for tourism workers will be organized within the scope of the project, which will give local tourism providers and eco farms an opportunity to develop their activities, since the project will encourage the development of sustainable, nature-friendly tourism. The project will bring 13 new job positions to the five project partners. It will enable Notranjska Regional Park to order services and goods from local craftsmen and entrepreneurs, as well as bring new infrastructure to the area of Cerknica Lake.
In addition to the European financing, the project would not be possible without the financial support from the Municipality of Cerknica, the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, and four local firms, who recognized the importance of supporting nature conservation projects. These are: Alpod d. o. o., DS SMITH PACKAGING d. o. o., Ebm-papst d. o. o., Elgoline d. o. o.