N Gauja - Protection and management of the Northern Gauja Valley
The aim of the project was to assign the most appropriate national protection status to the middle section of the river Gauja in Latvia close to the Estonian border and create the basis for including the site in the Natura 2000 network. The main project achievement was the drawing up of the management plan and the new individual regulations on the protection and use of the project area. More than 300ha of grassland habitats have also been restored and nearly 500ha were maintained by grazing. The project activities have significantly facilitated the elaboration, improvement and use of agri-environmental schemes. Additionally, agri-environmental plans have been drawn up for about 990ha of agricultural land. This provides new economic benefits for local farmers and also demonstrates long-standing meadow management. Moreover around 380ha of forest habitats have been successfully managed and restored. Additionally, the project ensured the establishment of 84 micro-reserves with a total area of around 240ha. Project dissemination activities markedly raised general public awareness of the importance of the conservation of the areas and its unique value. The project also played an important role in demonstrating nature-friendly habitat management.