Eastern Bakony - Restoration and conservation of priority habitats and species in the Eastern Bakony area

LIFE07 NAT/H/000321

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Rita GYOVAI-BALOGH
Tel: +36 1 3586174
Fax: +36 1 3586175
Email: kornyezetvedelem@hm.gov.hu

Project description:


Natural sites owned and used by the military often contain relatively undisturbed areas and valuable environmental habitats due to their isolation from the public. This is the case in Hungary’s Eastern Bakony Mountains, which support EU priority habitats and species as well as hosting military training areas.

Although the area’s biodiversity has been relatively well conserved, gaps exist in the amount of quantitative information about priority habitats and species. This information is considered important to manage threats to these species caused by both natural processes and military activities.


The Eastern Bakony LIFE project’s objectives focused on the restoration and conservation of EU priority habitats (Sub-Pannonic steppic grasslands, Pannonian woods, Medio-European calcareous screes) and priority species (Serratula lycopifolia and the saker falcon (Falco cherrug)) in the Eastern Bakony military area. The goals were achieved by integrating environmental policies within military land management and shooting/training practices.

Environmental, forestry and military experts, plus other stakeholders, set out to develop and adapt a Natura 2000 site management programme for the project site. Other activities included the construction of a fast and effective fire service system to manage accidental fires; the development of fire breaking buffer zones around military training and testing areas; scrub removal from a total of 600 ha in the project area (which will ultimately result in the rehabilitation of Sub-Pannonic steppe grasslands); and eradicating illegal waste dumping.

Anticipated conservation results included the restoration of up to 750 ha of high-priority natural habitat; the reduction of threats from invasive species to Sub-Pannonic steppic grasslands and Pannonian woods with downy oak (Quercus pubescens) habitats; the rehabilitation and protection of Pannonic woods with downy oak and Medio-European calcareous screes of hill and montane levels habitat; an increase in population size and the seed production of Serratula lycopifolia in the project area; and stimulating the growth of saker falcon and bat populations.

The project aimed to increase awareness about appropriate environmental management methods across a range of stakeholders and to draft a post-project management plan to ensure the continuity of the LIFE actions.


The Eastern Bakony LIFE project prepared and approved a management plan for both Natura 2000 sites in the project area. The plan was developed with the military centre and harmonises Natura 2000 conservation requirements and the multi-functional land use of the military training area. It includes rules for military use of the area and a map illustrating the categories of military training allowed. During the project (and partly as a result of the project) the original Natura 2000 sites were extended to fit the whole project area and accordingly the plan encompasses measures for both the original and extended site areas. The project also created an after-care plan to ensure that the sites are maintained.

The project carried out a number of important conservation measures to improve the conditions for priority species and habitats in the two areas:

  • Shrubs and trees were removed from 600 ha of land and grasslands maintained;
  • Five artificial nests were installed for the saker falcon and 573 ground squirrels were reintroduced at several localities, thus increasing the falcons’ food base;
  • 35 waste dumps, mining pits and abandoned military objects were re-cultivated (59% more than originally planned) and debris and illegal waste were removed;
  • A fire protection system was created, including 6 km of fire-stop belts (33% longer than planned), a water pool and sludge-catching area as a source of water to fight fires. Some 34.5 km of field roads were restored to give firefighters better access;
  • The project took actions to eradicate invasive woody species on 20.2 ha as planned;
  • Transformation of 3.5 ha of pine forest into oak forests began;
  • Fences were erected to protect over 54 ha of oak forests and Serratula lycopyfolia from game; and
  • The project installed 10 road gates, 25 information panels and an educational trail, with 15 educational boards.

In addition, the project staged 13 meetings to inform stakeholders about its works, including seven public meetings and six with the military. One of these was a special international conference on nature conservation in military areas. These events and the information and educational materials that were produced and disseminated during the project have increased the environmental awareness of the public and military in the project areas and encouraged a more positive attitude towards nature conservation.

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Conservation/Communication Plans (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Grasslands


restoration measure‚  protected area

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 79/409 - Conservation of wild birds (02.04.1979)
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...

Target species

 Falco cherrug   Serratula lycopifolia   

Target Habitat types

  • 6240 - Sub-Pannonic steppic grasslands
  • 8160 - Medio-European calcareous scree of hill and montane levels

Natura 2000 sites

SCI HUBF20001 Keleti-Bakony
SCI HUBF20002 Papod és Miklád



Coordinator Defence Economic Office (ex Armaments and Quartermaster Office), Ministry of Defence
Type of organisation National authority
Description The Hungarian Ministry of Defence’s Defence Economic Bureau (MODDEB) is a public authority responsible for state-owned MOD properties. The MODDEB’s Department of Environmental Protection performs environmental protection actions in line with National Environmental Protection Programme legislation.
Partners VERGA Zrt, Hungary Balaton-felvidéki Nemzeti Park Igazgatóság, Hungary AQUAPROFIT Műszaki Tanácsadási és Befektetési Zrt., Hungary


Project reference LIFE07 NAT/H/000321
Duration 02-FEB-2009 to 31-JUL -2014
Total budget 2,238,642.00 €
EU contribution 1,591,442.00 €
Project location Kozep-Dunantul(Hungary Magyarország)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website (HU/EN)
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan
Publication: After-LIFE Conservation Plan After-LIFE Conservation Plan
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Technical report Project's Final technical report


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version