In a nutshell
The area of the Oborniki Model Forest is located in the north – western part of the Wielkopolska voivodeship, in a close proximity to the amalgamation of Poznań (ca. 900,000 inhabitants), in the three counties – Oborniki, Szamotuły and Poznań. The total area is 60,000 ha. It is located on the edge of one of the largest compact forest complexes in Poland and Europe. Notecka Forest covers an area ca. 137,000 ha. The forest agency administers about 20,000 hectares of those forests surrounded by villages and cities. Local communities often use the forest and water resources for daily activities such as tourism, recreation, mushroom picking, fishing etc.
Wielkopolska voivodship suffers from a water deficit every year, with the total yearly rainfall among the lowest in Poland. Social pressures on the use of natural resources, such as water, led to the decision to establish the first Model Forest in Poland, with the aim to spread the concept and its principles to other areas of the country.
About 30% of the area is covered by forests, growing on poor sandy soils. The remaining area comprises urban and rural communes with well-developed agriculture.
The terrain shape, relief, soils, waters and landscape are of glacial origin. There are deposits of peat, lacustrine chalk, natural aggregate and loamy materials used to produce ceramics. Some of the raw materials are not subject to exploitation because they are located in forests.
Surface water resources include rivers – Warta, Wełna, Flinta, Sama, Samica, Kończak, and lakes – Pamiątkowskie and Sycyńskie. In addition, important water reservoir functions are provided by natural and artificial reservoirs built by the State Forests and private owners. Due to unregulated water and sewage management, the quality of flowing waters is unsatisfactory.
Forests are mainly coniferous with a dominant Scots pine, which perform mostly soil and water protection functions. The average age of forest stands is 65 years, and the average supply of wood is 270 m3/ha. Annually, ca. 110 000 m3 of wood is harvested.
In addition to forest communities, a special role is played by meadow, peat and reed communities in the river valleys, which are subject to different forms of conservation. Complementing the above is the cultivated vegetation of few parks, cemeteries and allotments, as well as numerous waterside, infield and roadside tree plantings. The open landscape of the agricultural part of the county contributes to the landscape aesthetic, and also performs an ecological function, positively affecting the microclimate and usability of the agricultural environment.
The area is agricultural and industrial, with a predominance of small and medium-size enterprises related to agricultural and food processing, timber industry and services. Rivers and lakes adjacent to the area are the basis for the development of tourism opportunities.
The Board of the Oborniki Model Forest includes representatives of the main institutions and organizations of specific economic sectors (forestry, water management, nature conservation, forest promotional complex, local governments, non-governmental organizations). Within these sectors, there are smaller organizations and local branches, whose presence is essential when working at the local level.
The foundation of the Oborniki Model Forest structure is the work in thematic working groups. Decisions are made on the basis of consensus – seeking the best solutions that reconcile different interests. The board makes decisions on further development directions within the Oborniki Model Forest and decisions that have specific financial impacts. The Board makes decisions based on developed and agreed upon the work of the working groups.
Working teams are responsible for preparing specific proposals, concepts, and developing specific positions. In the years 2015-2022, there are groups focused on the following thematic profiles:
- water management in forests;
- restoring ecological continuity in river ecosystems;
- strengthening the populations of fish in the Wełna and Flinta rivers;
- tourism and recreation in the forest and rivers;
- development of ecological education.
Other thematic groups may be appointed by the Management Board as required.
- Improve the ecological status of Wełna and Flinta rivers and provide them with the ability to self-clean;
- Improve conditions for fish breeding and strengthening fish populations;
- Improve water balance through recognition of hydrological conditions in the Wełna and Flinta catchment areas;
- Reduce human-induced pressures on forests and water ecosystems by developing and agreeing on thematic concepts;
- Improve public awareness, communication and integration among stakeholders by disseminating information, leading regular meetings and broadening the range of stakeholders.
Key actions in place to reach these goals:
- Educational campaign for sustainable forest management – 4 thematic pillars: global forestry, forest functions, climate change, nature conservation (external financing through project);
- Restoration of the forest buffer zone to a width of 15 m on sections where arable fields and built-up areas reach the river bank – 1st stage – 6.5 km – various ownership;
- Establishment of a tourist service point on the Wełna River and creating a mobile application with tourist routes (trail inventory) and a system for reporting threats, irregularities and social suggestions;
- Intensification of meetings with selected social groups – participation in various events initiated by institutions and local governments;
- Regular publications in local newspaper, radio and TV;
- Reclamation of Rogozińskie Lake;
- Establishing the Cultural Park as an historic area;
- An inventory of wetland areas and water facilities was carried out to increase the retention capacity in lowland areas;
- Cooperation and co-financing to maintain public roads.
- Integration on the institutional and personal level;
- Defining common aims and solutions;
- Implementing educational campaign;
- Strengthening cooperation between stakeholders regarding tourism and recreation in the region.
Learn more about Oborniki Model Forest :
Video: Oborniki Model Forest (in Polish with English subtitles)