Development of nature trail in Esztergom, Strázsa-hegy

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The nature trail of the Duna-Ipoly National Park Directorate in Esztergom, Kis-Strázsa is a very popular excursion destination. Since 2002, the 1.2 km long trail can be freely visited. The round trip starts at the “Kökörcsin-House”, it takes you up on the north side of the hill to the tower and it returns to house on the south side of the hill. The lookout tower offers you a panoramic view, from which even the peaks of the Tatra Mountains can be seen in clear weather.
During the developments the stairs were renewed, widened and replaced. New barriers were placed to protect the natural values of the hill. Trash cans were intentionally not placed as we want to encourage hikers to bring the garbage back with them.
With the help of the new information tables and the free Duna-Ipoly mobile application, visitors can discover the natural values of the trail on they own. Through guided tours (should be arranged) the natural values can be observed more in depth. The lookout tower can only be visited on guided tours. Contact:
Volunteers also participated in the work; we would like thank the help of New Acropolis Association in demolishing the old stairs and barriers!
The construction work was financed by the European Union. Two projects of the 30-year old LIFE program of the EU supported and coordinated the work: the LIFE4OakForests (LIFE16-NAT/ IT/000245) and the LIFE IP GRASSLAND-HU (LIFE17 IP/HU/000018) projects.

Conservation managements
In the area mosaics of forests, grasslands, scrubs and wetlands can be found. Due to the military activities in the past landscape rehabilitation and removal of contaminants was performed. In addition, nature conservation managements are ongoing; suppression of invasive plants (ailanthus, common hackberry, acacia) and planting native seedlings (oaks, poplars, wild fruits).
The area is grazed with about 400 cikta and tsigai sheep (a breed of domestic sheep of Hungary), which helps maintain natural grasslands by chewing and trampling.
Grasslands have a beneficial effect on the body of grazing animals through the consumption of herbs with medical effect. Such a diverse landscape provides a wide variety of habitats, which is why a wide diversity of animal and plant species feel comfortable here.

Sz. Mosoni Dóra, Koncz Péter
Duna-Ipoly Nemzeti Park Igazgatóság