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Frog Holes – natural educational and recreational attraction in Bytom


Żabie Doły (Frog Holes) in Bytom is a nature and landscape complex providing shelter and place for nesting to numerous species of birds and other small vertebrates. The reeds that grow there are characterized by the properties that cleanse ponds from excess biogenes, which is extremely important for the conservation of habitats of bitterns and little bitterns - endangered bird species. For the good of the animals living in these areas, it was important to channel the tourist and educational traffic taking place there in such a way as to protect the habitats against human interference, and at the same time provide visitors with favourable conditions for observing wildlife.

Project title
Organizing tourist traffic within the Żabie Doły Nature and Landscape Complex to protect nature and biodiversity and adapt the area for educational and recreational purposes

Beneficiary
Bytom – city with district rights

Priority axis/ Measure/ Sub-measure
Priority axis: V. Environmental protection and efficient use of resources, 
Measure: 5.4. Protection of biodiversity
Sub-measure: 5.4.2 Protection of biodiversity – ASI

Finances
Project value: PLN 2,747,625.00
EU grant value: PLN 1,990,448.05

Why was the project undertaken?

The project was aimed at revitalizing post-industrial areas and adapting them to activities supporting the preservation of biodiversity of flora and fauna and providing access to Żabie Doły (Frog Holes) for residents for both educational and recreational purposes.

What has been achieved?

Due to the implementation of the project, it was possible to create the conditions necessary to preserve the biodiversity of Żabie Doły (Frog Holes) by:

  • stopping agricultural activity and ploughing rushes,
  • felling poplar trees threatening the ecosystem and planting native tree species for compensation,
  • introduction of aquatic vegetation,
  • removal of invasive clusters of Japanese knotweed,
  • creating places suitable for breeding amphibians, including newt, common toad, common frog and other protected frogs,
  • construction of nesting boxes for birds,
  • creation of floating islands for nesting water birds.

Plan zrewitalizowanych Żabich Dołów

Creating conditions for ecosystem-safe tourist, educational and recreational traffic as well as observation opportunities for visitors through:

  • construction of new walking and educational paths with a total length of 2 km and 62 m,
  • renovation and modernization of existing paths,
  • construction of two larger educational points in the form of a roofed stand,
  • construction of outdoor stairs, which help to get to paths located in the place of former railway embankments,
  • construction of bird observation and photography sites in the form of lookouts and observation platforms,
  • arrangement of elements of small architecture: containers and trash bins, benches and seats, as well as information and educational boards.

In addition, an internet portal and application for mobile phones was created, which will support the field game taking place in ZPK Żabie Doły.

Who uses/benefits from the effects of the project?

The recipients of the effects will include mainly the inhabitants of Bytom and Chorzów, in which Żabie Doły (Frog Holes) is located, but also visitors from all over Poland. Żabie Doły (Frog Holes) both fulfils its recreational functions towards people who want to relax in the bosom of nature, interested in the area through a field game or website, as well as educational functions for visitors who are primarily interested in deepening their knowledge about the species living there, especially those dealing with research and bird watching (ornithologists or nature photographers). The estimated number of recipients is 2500 people per year.

What are the main benefits of the project?

Revitalization of post-industrial areas with preservation of biodiversity and protection of natural habitats of protected species. Adaptation of the natural and landscape complex to the needs of people who are interested in active rest combined with education. The project uses the opportunities offered by new technologies, i.e. an application that familiarizes users with the species of fauna and flora occurring in Żabie Doły (Frog Holes), as well as playing a field game.

Photos: Hubert Klimek, http://www.bytom.pl

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