Meshchera National Park, Environmental Education Department
Funding support: Federal State Institution (Russian Federation Budget)
Number of staff: 5
Number of visitors per year: 11,000
Overall aims of the centre
Environmental education, scientific research, ecotourism and dissemination of information on Meshchera peatlands
Description of the centre
The Meshchera National Park is situated in the Vladimir Region of European Russia, in the centre of Meshchera Lowland. The Park covers 118,700 ha, with peatlands covering 24,000 ha (20% of the total area). The strictly protected zone includes two intact bogs, Svyatoye Lake and the lower reaches of Buzh River, that have been designated as an important bird area. There are many wetland-dependent species, such as Russian Desman, Black Stork, Short-toed Eagle, Greater Spotted Eagle, Curlew and Great Grey Shrike.
Wetland plants include Dactylorhiza longifolia Orchid, White Water Lily Nymphaea candida, sundew Drosera anglica, Marsh Helleborine Epipactis palustris, and Bog Willow Salix myrtilloides. The National Park’s staff carries out research and monitoring of rare and endangered species.
Ecotourism is well developed, with 10,000 to 11,000 tourists visiting the area every year.
There is a visitor centre in the park with peatland panoramas installed. A large section of the Park’s Museum of Birds is devoted to water birds. Visitors of the ethnographic museum of Russkoye Podvorye, can see the peculiarities of traditional life styles formed in the Meshchera peatlands. The Meshchera Forest Trail, which is visited by 2,400 to 2,500 people annually, crosses a forested peatland giving a chance to explore its remarkable wildlife habitat.
Main CEPA work areas
A wetland education programme was developed for school children in 2005, and is implemented successfully since then. Large-scale peatland restoration activities have been carried out with help of local authorities, conservation NGOs, local community and volunteers since 2003.
Top three successes
Summer expeditions have been organized for children and young people to do research on peatlands: over 700 school students participated in these expeditions during the last eight years
Volunteer action on the development of Dendro Garden has been most successfully implemented during the International Volunteer Week
International Camp for Restoration of Tasin Bor Peatland was organized in 2009 and 2010. Students from all over Russia and from Germany, nature reserve staff, volunteers and local people participated in restoration work.
Top three challenges
So far, there has been no unsuccessful projects in the Meshchera NP.
Creating signage; site information; Producing written materials; Developing nature trails
Managing / creating habitat; Running a visitor centre
Engaging young people; Working with volunteers
Education and communication
Early years education; Working with primary schools; Working with secondary schools
Running effective administration
Zoya N. Drozdova,
Deputy Director on Management and Environmental Education;
Anna Vozbrannaya, Instructor on Environmental Education
Vladimir Oblast 601503,
Tel.: +7 493241 35124
Fax: +7 493241 35220