Dunaipoly.hu - Vakok és gyengénlátók számára

Kakukk-hegy in Érd

<p style="text-align: justify;"><span lang="FR">The Kakukk Hill of Érd is the largest known continuous remnant of the now destroyed or transformed loess vegetation of the Mezőföld near Budapest. The majority of the loess areas have been ploughed up due to their highly fertile soils, so only small patches of these plant communities remain, even in national terms. Even among these remnants, the area stands out for its naturalness and the richness of its species assemblage. Its diversity is enhanced by the extremely varied climate, which has developed on a steep, highly indented terrain, with significant differences even at short distances, and by the presence of mountain, sandbank and rocky grassland species which take advantage of these features. The aim of the protection is to maintain the natural vegetation in terms of species richness, the proportion and natural pattern of loess communities, grassland, scrub and woodland, and to conserve the species diversity, together with the fauna associated with the habitats.</span></p>

Legislation declaring the site protected: Decree 9/2007 (III. 30.) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management on the establishment of the Kakukk Hill nature conservation area in Érdi

The Kakukk hill is only 160-177 m above sea level, but rises steeply to a height of 70-80 m above the Danube, is almost 1 km long, extends in a north-west-south-east direction and is not actually a mountain, but a 40-60 degree north-eastern slope of the plain of the Mezőföld overlooking the village of Érd and the island of Érd. The mountain may have been so named because of its relative height above the Danube and its mountainous appearance.

Despite the small size of the protected area, all stages of the succession of loess occur, from pioneer loess associations to loess oak (semi-desert loess wall association, closed loess bush oak, loess scrub oak, Tatar shepherd loess oak), which are also Natura 2000 sites.

The area is extremely species-rich due to its varied micro-climates and micro-cover and the resulting plant communities. To date, a total of 233 species of vascular plants are known from the area. Of these, 1 is a specially protected species (purple bittercress) and 29 are protected. 

The dominant species are those typical of loess, e.g. the protected species of radiata (Serratula radiata), cylindrical-nested peremizzi (Inula germanica), cat's-ear (Phlomis tuberosa), but there are also plants that live mainly on limestone and dolomite bedrock, e.g. the protected species of maidencup (Pulsatilla grandis), dwarf lady's-flower (Iris pumila). In terms of habitat, species typical of dry grassland are found, e.g. sand moss (Onobrychis arenaria), loosestrife (Salvia verticillata), woodland steppe elements e.g. silky periwinkle (Inula oculus-shristi), Anemone sylvestris (Anemone sylvestris), and forest species such as primrose (Primula veris), Lithospermum purpureo-coeruleum (Lithospermum purpureo-coeruleum). In the shady, cooler microclimates, plants typical of mountain wet meadows occur, e.g. the protected species green orchid (Coeloglossum viride); or mountain testicle (Trifolium montanum), viburnum (Briza media). Of particular note is the fact that the only known occurrence of green orchid (Coeloglossum viride) is on Kakukk Hill in the lowlands. The Natura 2000 candidate species of the area is the highly protected purple fringed orchid (Himantoglossum caprinum).

Actions and requirements for protection

For long-term protection, small-scale active conservation interventions are needed to prevent the spread of invasive tree and shrub species Acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia), Ailanthus altissima (Ailanthus altissima) and to reduce natural scrub encroachment. Efforts should be made to artificially plant oak coppice, collected locally in the existing forest area, using technology that does not involve any soil preparation in order to protect the grassland level. The aim of the operation is to create a loess oak typical of the habitat.

Due to the fragility of the site and its outstanding natural value, it may only be visited and used for educational and demonstration purposes with a special permit, and only for research in the interests of conservation and for land and land use necessary for conservation management.

The district forest plan should impose full economic restrictions and maintain the no-cutting, no-timber-production status of the existing plan.

No agricultural cultivation, no industrial or mining activities, no buildings, structures, sports fields, linear infrastructure or utility elements are allowed in the area. Game management is limited to the depletion of the game population.