Olmansk moors

Olmansk moors are considered to be one of the most significant in Europe complexes of raised, stable and of course – lowland moors, which have been kept to the present days in its natural, even primeval forms. A reserve has been established recently, in 2008, on the vast territory of these swamps. An aviation military firing range functions on the reserve’s territory. The south border runs through the state border with Ukraine, and the south-western part of swampy area is located directly in Ukraine. The total area of ways and military posts cover only 1% of the whole vast territory.

However almost 40% of the area is occupied with open swamp territories, which were overgrown with moss and birch grove with the course of time.

The swamps on most territory are transitional, stable. Sand-drifts, which were also overgrown with pine and deciduous trees, are located between the swamps. Marshy forests encompass about 50 % of the entire reserve’s territory. Also flood oak forests can be often found. Olmansk swamps are located between the river Stviga and its inflows, which form the north-western border of this complex. Old reclamation canals, that were created in the early XX century, also flow into the river Stviga. Despite its sorry, completely dilapidated state, they are still able to cope with the outflows from these swamps, especially in early spring, when freshets start.

The lakes: Bolshoye and Maloye are located on the territory of this reserve as well. In simplified form they encompass about 100 hectares and spread in its northern part. It is necessary to mention that 23 small lakes with a total area of 0,5 to 7 hectares are also included into this reserve. The main distinguishing features of Olmansk swamps from other emerald areas is in its constant hydrological conditions, which preserved in the primeval form and on unthinkably large scale. 688 various plants species were discovered on the swamp complex’s territory, 12 of them were enlisted into the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus. Also 25 mammal species were opened, 26 bird species out of 150 represented species were also included into the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus.

Nesting places and migrations of water-wading species of the rarest birds are concentrated on the whole complex’s territory. Nowadays necessary conditions for ornithologists and just for those, who like birds are being formed so that to ease the monitory over the rare birds life natural living environment. We can’t leave without attention the fact, that waterways for canoeists, and also extreme tours along the swamp area are intended to be formed in the near future for everyone desiring.

At present any willing can get to almost any part of this reserve. However, some places can be closed only because of observing precautions – as after the Chernobyl disaster radiation background is increased in these places.