Häädemeeste - Restoration and management of the Häädemeeste wetland complex
The project aimed to achieve favourable conservation status for coastal meadows and species in the southwest coast of Estonia. In particular a management plan has been drawn up for the project area, which has already being implemented. Additionally, 600 ha of Boreal coastal meadow habitat had been restored and both breeding and migratory bird populations were closely monitored. Most of the breeding waders’ populations were found to have stabilized or increased slightly. A total of 1.500-1.800 ha of the Tolkuse bog area was restored through the blocking of key ditches. This raised the water level by 180 cm. Overgrowing bushes and trees were removed from a 6 ha area of the abandoned peat extraction fields and a 3 ha area was rewetted by blocking drainage ditches with peat dams. Approximately 6 ha of open sand habitat was restored in the old sand pit at Sooküla, through the removal of trees and wet habitat vegetation. A nature trail created in 1998 by Häädemeeste Municipality was reconstructed, adding new stairs, benches and information boards. An 18 m high lookout tower was added on the highest dune in the reserve. Four birdwatching towers and three bird monitoring platforms were built, as well as bonfire and camping sites close to the nature trail. Dissemination activities were widespread, and included: the erection of 10 large information boards, as well as an information centre at Pulgoja coastal meadow; the publication of more than 20 articles; a best practice handbook about coastal meadow management; and of two information leaflets.