Grazing in forests is legally banned in Hungary, due to its possible seriously negative effects on the wood-producing capacity of forests. Grazing of steppic woods is hypothesised to have positive effect on biological diversity, despite there are opposite opinions, as well.
Anyhow, we can consider it as a fact that different silvipastoral systems were compatible with the preservation of high level of biological diversity for centuries.
We suppose that these are the technical details (e.g. the timing of grazing, grazing pressure, type of grazing animals, and the type and age of forest stand to be grazed) which determines the overall positive or negative effect of grazing. In order to reintroduce this traditional management to the Hungarian forests willing to avoid making serious mistakes (as side-effects) we must test our hypotheses and collect evidences about the effects of forest grazing.
In this action a traditional silvipastoral system will be reintroduced to a wooded area neighbouring the Peszér-forest, managed by KNPD. Despite its wooded vegetation, this piece of land is not registered as a forest, therefore, from legal perspectives it is possible to utilize as a wooded pasture. Now this site is partly overgrown by bushes, which is one of the possible reasons why the size of the local Iris arenaria population decreased during the last 15 years (from cca. 4500 stems to cca. 3500 stems).
(C8 action in OAKEYLIFE project, (HUKN20003))
(Photos by Phd Gábor Bárány, August, 2018 in Kunpeszér)