LIFE 4 Oak Forests - Conservation management tools for increasing structural and compositional biodiversity in Natura2000 oak forests

LIFE16 NAT/IT/000245

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Contact details:

Contact person: Fabio Ghirelli
Tel: 393357890341
Email: fabio.ghirelli@romagnafaentina.it

Project description:


Due to centuries of commercial forest logging, unsuitable forest management and overpopulation of wild game, forest stands with downy oak (Quercus pubescens) and Pannonian-Balkanic turkey oak-sessile oaks have unfavourable conservation status in the EU. These forest habitats present reduced stand structure (no old trees, shrubs and stratification), diminished diversity of tree species and a lack of dead wood. As a result, the overall biodiversity of oak forests is low. Furthermore, these forest habitats are threatened by human disturbances and invasive alien species (most commonly the black locust, Robinia pseudoacacia). The conservation status and biological diversity of these areas can however be improved relatively quickly by suitable nature conservation management.


The project’s overall goal is to conserve and improve the conservation status of five oak forest habitat types, listed in Annex I of the Habitats Directive, in Italy and Hungary.

Specific objectives are to:

  • Identify the natural oak forest conditions that should be the target of nature conservation management;
  • Increase the biodiversity of the five valuable and/or priority EU oak forest habitat types in Natura 2000 sites;
  • Eradicate invasive alien species; and
  • Demonstrate best practices in nature conservation management of oak forests.
  • An intensive awareness-raising campaign will be carried out for stakeholders and the general public. This will include: presentations and field demonstrations for stakeholders of the sites concerned and for forestry teachers and students; the collection, elaboration and publication of techniques that can be used in the management of oak forests; and publications on the results of the nature conservation management of oak forests and the management guidelines developed, on the ecosystem services of the oak forests, and guidelines on how to manage the five habitats targeted for nature conservation. There will be intensive networking with other projects and specialists working on forest conservation.

    Expected results: Improvement of the natural oak forests' condition through:

  • Preparation of guidelines on nature conservation management of oak forests (700 copies in English, Hungarian and Italian), with the results of its application in the project areas;
  • Purchase of 43.52 ha of forest habitats in Hungary and 40 ha in Italy;
  • Management of around 2 066 ha of oak forests (1 555 ha in Hungary and 511 ha in Italy) in 24 project areas (19 in Hungary and five in Italy) using the nature conservation management guidelines developed within the project. This will result in a more natural structure of the forest, with lying and standing dead wood, as well as an increased biodiversity in the project areas;
  • Fencing some 95 ha of forest to eliminate damage from games;
  • Elimination of invasive tree species on 80 ha (50 ha in Hungary and 30 ha in Italy) and suppression of other tree species in the project areas;
  • Presentations and field demonstrations for 315 stakeholders (those working on the sites concerned, forestry teachers and students);
  • Publication of guidelines on how to manage the five oak forest habitats targeted for nature conservation, aimed at forest managers and Natura 2000 rangers and managers (500 copies);
  • Publication for professionals on the ecosystem services of the natural oak forests targeted (500 copies in English, Hungarian and Italian);
  • Organisation of an international conference; and
  • Raising the general public's awareness of the importance of Natura 2000 sites and conservation of oak forests through the project's web page, 25 information signs, a five-minute interactive movie, 300 copies of a forest atlas, and print (500 copies) and online material for children.



Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Forests


forest management‚  forest ecosystem

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...
  • COM(2011) 244 final “Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 ...
  • COM(2013) 620 final “Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on t ...

Target Habitat types

  • 91AA - Eastern white oak woods
  • 91G0 - Pannonic woods with Quercus petraea and Carpinus betulus
  • 91H0 - Pannonian woods with Quercus pubescens
  • 91I0 - Euro-Siberian steppic woods with Quercus spp.
  • 91M0 - Pannonian-Balkanic turkey oak-sessile oak forests

Natura 2000 sites

SCI IT4070011 Vena del Gesso Romagnola
SPA HUBN10001 Bodrogzug–Kopasz-hegy–Taktaköz
SPA HUBN10003 Bükk-hegység és peremterületei
SPA HUBN10006 Mátra
SPA HUDI10002 Börzsöny és Visegrádi-hegység
SCI HUBF20034 Balatonfüredi-erdő
SCI HUBN20002 Hór-völgy, Déli-Bükk
SCI HUBN20008 Vár-hegy - Nagy-Eged
SCI HUBN20038 Kerecsendi Berek-erdő és Lógó-part
SCI HUBN20046 Gyöngyösi Sár-hegy
SCI HUBN20049 Mátrabérc - fallóskúti-rétek
SCI HUBN20056 Tepke
SCI HUBN20057 Bézma
SCI HUDI20008 Börzsöny
SCI HUDI20009 Budai-hegység
SCI HUDI20039 Pilis és Visegrádi-hegység
SCI HUDI20040 Gödöllői-dombság peremhegyei



Coordinator Ente di gestione per i Parchi e la Biodiversit-Romagna
Type of organisation Park-Reserve authority
Description The Ente di gestione per i Parchi e la Biodiversità – Romagna (EPB-R) was established in 2011. It manages the Vena del Gesso Romagnola regional park, three nature reserves, 16 Natura 2000 network sites (including four for birds located in six municipalities - Borgo Tossignano, Brisighella, Casalfiumanese, Casola Valsenio, Fontanelice, Riolo Terme, and two mountain communities - Comunità montana Appennino Faentino and Comunità montana Valle del Santerno.
Partners Duna-Ipoly National Park Directorate, Hungary Bükki Nemzeti Park Igazgatóság (Bükk National Park Directorate), Hungary Balaton-felvidéki Nemzeti Park Igazgatóság (Balaton Upland National Park Directorate), Hungary WWF Világ Természeti Alap Magyarország Alapítvány (WWF Hungary), Hungary MAGYAR TUDOMÁNYOS AKADÉMIA ÖKOLOGIAI KUTATÓKÖZPONT (Centre for Ecological Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Hungary Érmelléki Természetvédelmi és Turisztikai Közhasznú Egyesület, Hungary


Project reference LIFE16 NAT/IT/000245
Duration 01-JUL-2017 to 31-DEC -2026
Total budget 7,980,586.00 €
EU contribution 5,895,289.00 €
Project location Kozep-Magyarorszag(Hungary Magyarország) Kozep-Dunantul(Hungary Magyarország) Eszak-Magyarorszag(Hungary Magyarország) Eszak-Alfold(Hungary Magyarország) Emilia-Romagna(Italia)


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