Nerusso-Desnyanskoye Polesie Wetland Centre






East Atlantic flyway


WLI Europe


Bryansky Les State Biosphere Reserve

Funding support: Russian Federation Budget

Number of staff: 4

Overall aims of the centre

Environmental education, wetland research and monitoring, provision of information on the Nerussa-Desna wetland complexes and positive examples of their wise use to various target groups.

Description of the centre

The Bryansky Les (Bryansk Forest) Strict Nature Reserve (Zapovednik) was established in the southern Bryansk Region, Russia in 1987, with a core area of 12,186 ha and a buffer zone of 9,159 ha. Presently the reserve’s administration is responsible for managing the 128,394 ha Nerusso-Desnyanskoye Polesie Biosphere Reserve containing the protected, buffer and transitional zones. The core area is a 150 km long band of forest that extends along the left bank of the Desna River, into Ukraine. The Desna River is one of the last free-flowing rivers on the European continent.

The Desna floodplain is 3 to 4 km wide there, and is covered by marshes, wet meadows, oxbow-lakes, channels, shrubbery and patches of broad-leaved forest. In springtime, most of this area is flooded. The area supports large aggregations of water birds (geese, ducks, waders, gulls, herons etc.) on spring passage. From 60,000 to 90,000 water birds, which belong to 67 species, migrate through the Middle Desna valley in the spring.

Rare and endangered species include Great White Egret (Egretta alba), Sandhill Crane (Grus grus), Great Snipe (Gallinago media), Corncrake (Crex crex), Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga) and Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina). Over 50 species of fish occur in the floodplain lakes and rivers including Pike (Esox lucius), River Perch (Perca fluviatilis), Bream (Abramis brama), Roach (Rutilus rutilus) and others.

Integrated management is a key objective of various activities carried out by the NR’s staff in close cooperation with land users, local population and NGOs. The NR is actively cooperating with the adjacent Ukrainian National Park of Desnyansko-Starogutsky on various research, education and awareness issues.

The Bryansky Les Zapovednik works with local communities to gain support for the nature reserve system. The reserve carries out an active education program based at its modern visitor’s center and museum visited by 500 to 600 people annually.

Work Areas

Main CEPA work areas

The environmental education department works with children from all over the region, helping to raise the environmental consciousness of the next generation of decision-makers.

The educational staff provides lectures and excursions along the nature trail which starts from the visitor centre. The Wetland Centre does research and monitoring of wetland ecosystems, provides information on the status of wetlands through the Nature Reserve’s website, publications and the mass media. Field studies are organised for students and researchers.

Top three successes

1. A cooperative Russian-Ukrainian migrating water bird census in the transborder area of Desna valley participated by school children and students from both countries that was taken under the Wetlands International’s project in spring 2010.

2. Participation of the Bryansky Les educational staff in the Russian-Ukrainian summer camps organized for children in the Desnyansko-Starogutsky National Nature Park in 2001, 2010, and 2011.

3. Carrying out field surveys and compilation of registration documents for a regional system of protected nature areas adopted by the Bryansk Region Administration (2006-2008).

Top three challenges

Development of tourist routes in the strict nature reserve area initiated by the Nature Reserve’s Administration.


Interpretation techniques

Creating signage; site information; Producing written materials; Developing nature trails

Visitor centres

Running a visitor centre


Engaging young people

Education and communication

Delivering adult education; Working with primary schools; Working with secondary schools; Developing resources / materials




Dr/Mr Yuri P. Fedotov

Senior Researcher

Bryansky Les Zapovednik

Nerussa Station,

Suzemsky Raion,

BryanskOblast 242180,


Tel./Fax: + 7 48353 25774

Dr/Mr. Sergei A. Kruglikov

Senior Reseacher

Bryansky Les Zapovednik

Nerussa Station,

Suzemsky Raion,

BryanskOblast 242180,


Tel./Fax: + 7 48353 25774

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