Krajinski Park Ljubljansko Barje

Krajinski Park Ljubljansko Barje (Slovenia)
2nd Prize

Ljubljansko Barje, an almost 160 square kilometres large plain, originated two million years ago through the sinking of the Ljubljana basin. Consequently, rivers deposited shingle and sediments, virtually damming the Ljubljanica river and inundating the entire Barje basin. Some 6,000 years ago, the Barje lake dried up, leaving a marshy plain. Layers of peat were formed, in places even up to 9 metres thick.

With the peat almost gone, the Barje is still a rich cultural landscape of traditional character as the high groundwater level and regular floods prevent intensive farming and reduce its economic efficiency. Today, the Barje is an endless mosaic of grasslands, small woodlands, fields, ditches and hedges. The interlacement of all these diverse habitats is home to numerous plants and animals that can rarely be seen elsewhere in Slovenia and Europe.

The founding of Krajinski park Ljubljansko barje and its successful management thus present a direct implementation of the EU nature-conservancy requirements (NATURA 2000).