The Bükkalja „Rock path”:
The undulating hills of the Bükkalja region lie snug in the southern foregrounds of the endless woodlands of Bükk Mountains where the villages hiding in the valleys of the rushing streams of Bükk Mountains and the hills covered with forests, meadows and orchards harbour many values and rarities both of nature and of cultural history. Characteristic local architectural culture was formed always integrally using the opportunities in the rhyolite tuff covering the Bükkalja region. It is a special stone world in which the villages of the region live: this is the land of stone-walled houses and adjoining stone fences, cave houses and cellars cut into tuff rock, stone bridges arching over streams and ditches, roadside crucifixes, stone benches and mysterious hive-stones. The Bükkalja „Rock path” crosses this marvelous country-side involving 16 settlements from Sirok to Kács. Along the path we can explore natural values, sights of cultural history; we can taste rightly famous wines of the region and we can enjoy the local people’s hospitality.
The Bükkalja Rock path was established in 2008 with the support of EEA/Norway NGO Grants within the Cultural Heritage Protection thematic area. As a result of the project a unified database about the sights of the Rock Path and a unique website which introduces in details the Bükkalja region and its settlements were realized. 14 different publications that present the 16 settlements of the Rock path, as well as a summary publication were prepared in Hungarian, English, German and Polish languages. The acacias were removed from the hive-stones in Bükkalja and the significant ones became presentable. Informational tables which help the familiarization of sights were placed already in 30 places in order to present the hive-stones and other stone values.
Here, in Bükkalja Region, we can find the largest number of the most unique and the most mysterious natural and cultural values of the Hungarian landscapes, the chamber stones, hive-stones that were announced nationally protected since November, 2014. The prestigious national value of the Bükkalja Rock Path was acknowledged by the Hungaricum Committee on 17 June, 2016 thus the “Hive-stones and Stone culture of Bükkalja” is now part of the Collection of Hungaricums.
The Bükkalja Rock Path badge collecting hiking movement was established in 2016, as well, and it touches the most beautiful sights of the rock path. The route can be completed in one or several sessions connected to local programs and culinary festivals. The hiking movement is open; anyone can join with purchasing the certifying booklet. The price of the booklet is 1500 HUF, which includes the badge of completion and its postage, too. The condition of the completion is to visit all the 16 stations of the route in an optional way (by walk or by bike) and in any order. In case of successful completion the badge with the logo of the Bükkalja Rock Path is posted to the name and address given in the certifying booklet. More info here.
“Starry Sky Park” of Bükk:
In 2014, we submitted a project proposal to the EEA/Norway NGO Fund in order to prepare the establishment of the Starry Sky Park in the Bükk National Park. “Wide spread familiarization with the problem of light pollution, and preparation of Starry Sky Park nomination package for the Bükk National Park” titled project was supported and in August, 2014 the work has been started. The objectives of the project were to raise awareness of the light pollution that affects both the wildlife and also us – as a form of environmental pollution – and to make people more receptive to the sights of the sky, and draw attention to the necessity and importance of preserving the dark sky. In this respect, we measured the level of light pollution of the Bükk National Park, held astronomical presentations and educational lectures, replaced some luminaires causing light pollution, then from the collected data and information, we prepared a nomination documentation for the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). As a result of the decision on the 6th of June, 2016 of IDA, the Bükk National Park was announced as a silver-ranked “Starry Sky Park” thus in our country the third protected area has got this prestigious recognition beside the Hortobágy National Park and Zselic National Landscape Preservation Area.
Civics for the f natural values of local importance:
Our aim is to familiarize the inhabitants with the protected natural values of local significance of our county and bring them closer; because we live in a very close neighborhood of these natural wonders without being aware of them. That is, for real discoveries, we do not have to travel to new landscapes, often enough to look at our home with new eyes. It is especially important for us to promote the experience gaining about the wonderful diversity of the living and inanimate nature.
Preservation of protected areas is primarily the responsibility of the state, but not exclusively, as there is usually insufficient official capacity to preserve them. In the unprotected areas, the protection of nature conservation and the conservation activities of local people are particularly important. Civic nature protection has a rather strong tradition in Hungary, and its relationship with professional nature conservation is getting closer and closer. Civic and public nature conservation can be effective only if they work together.
With this in mind, our association evaluated the environmental state of the protected natural values of Heves County, prepared a publication and a web page that supplements the publication with more information and professional knowledge within the framework of “Together for the preservation of protected natural values of local significance in Heves County” titled program supported by the Green Sources Application of the Ministry of Rural Development.
Volunteers and interns for the nature protection:
Beyond the implementation of nature and environmental protection works, our main goal is to encourage the voluntary nature and environmental protection activities, and so that to educate local communities and usually the younger age group on environmental awareness and social sensitivity.
With the introduction of school community services we offer the opportunity for secondary/high school students to implement the 50 hours of voluntary service (a part of it or the whole). Furthermore, for students studying in tertiary education in the field of natural sciences (mainly geography, environment) we ensure the opportunity to fulfill their obligatory professional internships at our association.
In 2016, with the support of dm Ltd. within the frameworks of “Good turns for a better world” applications our “Community Service in the Nature” titled program was implemented in which the community service students joined to the works related to the maintenance of educational paths and hiking trails.
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