Sunday, 23 September 2012

Riparian restoration work in Veliko Tarnovo, river Yantra would lift the environment

The riparian zone is located along the bank of the river Yantra and riparian flora and fauna are often distinctly different from those found in adjacent communities because of the water-rich soils found in the riparian zone. Healthy riparian zones provide a variety of important ecosystem services and they are often important habitats for wildlife, to be seen in the very heart of Veliko Turnovo from the neighbouring traditional Veliko Tarnovo real estate. Riparian zones provide a variety of ecosystem services, even in the middle of a town such as Veliko Tarnovo, including; river sediment filtering, river bank stabilization, excess water storage and release, and aquifer recharge. In addition, riparian zones provide important habitat for wildlife such as black storks, kingfishers to name but a few that are found in the Yantra.

When the Yantra flows through a healthier riparian zone it will provide a better environment for fish because:
  • the riparian trees provide shade and buffer temperatures
  • inputs of woody debris creates fish habitat
  • inputs of organic matter via leaf fall provides food sources for invertebrates and fish
  • invertebrates that fall into the stream from the surrounding riparian vegetation provides food for other organisms
  • the riparian zone can improve the water quality of the river by filtering out nutrients that would otherwise enter the river. 
bulgaria veliko tarnovo eu funding
The River Yantra in flood in Veliko Tarnovo

The abundance and diversity of wildlife in the river Yantra area is influenced by the availability of water, the productivity (amount of carbon fixed by photosynthesis) and habitat diversity. Riparian zones provide reliable sources of water for wildlife and the greater productivity allowed by the high moisture content of the soil allows for more potential food for wildlife. In addition, the habitat diversity of riparian vegetation provides many potential niches for wildlife to fill. Not surprisingly, the diversity and abundance of wildlife in riparian zones is higher than in the adjacent communities, such as the residential areas of Veliko Tarnovo and the more rocky cliffs of the characteristic gorge.
Riparian zones are threatened by a variety of factors including: 
  • over management in urban areas and overgrazing in rural
  • too much tree felling as can be witnessed on the Veselina River in Kapinovo  
  • agriculture, particularly nitrates
  • building dams and weirs
  • and of the most significant here in Veliko Tarnovo, human development
The Mayor of Veliko Tarnovo, Daniel Panov, has long been considering what new schemes can be submitted to the Ministry of Regional Development under the Urban Environment Programme. One of the projects that the Mayor thinks should start soonest, is the riparian zone of the Yantra River, where it runs through the town.

Veliko Turnovo has 8 public parks which have been renovated, re-landscaped and had water features and sculptured features under the Urban Environment Programme completed in 2012 and understandably the Mayor of Veliko Tarnovo is proud of these projects which provide a great environment for the residents and visitors of Veliko Turnovo.

Hopefully the banks of the River Yantra here in Veliko Tarnovo will be rejuvenated soon allowing visitors and residents alike to be able to stroll down them whilst some sections remain inaccessible to allow timid wildlife to continue to provide a showcase of fauna and flora.

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