Hevesi Füves Puszták Tájvédelmi Körzet

Heves Grassland Steppe Protected Landscape Area

Heves Grassland Steppe Protected Landscape Area
Heves Grassland Steppe Protected Landscape Area
Heves Grassland Steppe Protected Landscape Area
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Protected since 1993.

Area size: 16,114 ha.

The Heves Grassland Protected Landscape Area was declared protected in 1993 in order to protect the habitats and the communities living in the southern part of Heves County formed in strong connection with land use of man. After its expansion in 2005 and 2008, the area gained its current extent, with 16,114 hectares.

Heves Grassland Steppe Protected Landscape Area

Protected since 1993.

Area size: 16,114 ha.

The Heves Grassland Protected Landscape Area was declared protected in 1993 in order to protect the habitats and the communities living in the southern part of Heves County formed in strong connection with land use of man. After its expansion in 2005 and 2008, the area gained its current extent, with 16,114 hectares.

The protected landscape affect 23 settlements in the southern Heves region and one settlement in the Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County and consists of 15 territorial units:

• Szikes of Pély (on the border of the settlements of Pély, Jászivány and Tarnaszentmiklós)

• Hamvajárás (including Nagy-fertő, Gulya-gyep, Garabont areas)

• Nagy-Hanyi-puszta (between Dormánd and Erdőtelek)

• Kis-Hanyi-puszta (at the border of the villages of Átány, Erdőtelek and Besenyőtelek)

• Csörsz ditch (section between Dormánd and Erdőtelek)

• Logó bank (on the border of Kerecsend village)

• Magas határ (at the border of the village of Tiszanána)

• Poroszlói-saline

• Sarudi block

• Hevesi lawns (in contact with a section of the Hanyi vein)

• Pusztafogacs (on the border of Tarnamera, Erk and Boconád villages)

• Kétútköz

• Poroszló lawns

• Göbölyjárás (on the border of Nagyút, Kompolt and Tarnazsadány villages)

• Bene terrace (at the border of Nagyút village)

The protected landscape area is located on the Hevesi Plain, the Gyöngyösi Plain and the Hevesi Floodplain: the greater part is on a higher surface of flood plain with a medium flood-water level, the smaller part is on a perfectly flat floodplain. The surface of the Northern Great Alluvial Cone Plain and the Central Tisza region was shaped by the construction and destruction of the Tisza and its tributaries from the Bükk and Mátra regions (Tarna, Laskó, Eger streams), as well as the land use and landscape cultivation activities of the people living here. The small deepenings of the North Great Plain - the Gyöngyösi and Hevesi plains - belong to the type of terraced alluvial cone plains at the basin edge. In the time of Pleistocene, the streams flowing out of mountains of North Hungary built up their alluvial cones in the northern part of the Hungarian Great Plain. The Gyöngyösi plain was filled up by sediments of streams coming from Mátra Mountain(Ágói stream, Gyöngyös, Bene stream, Tarnóca) and the Tarna, while on the Hevesi plain was filled up by sediments of ancient Tarna, Laskó and Eger streams. These watercourses cut themselves into their own alluvial cone, shaping their surroundings into a flood plain att the end of the Pleistocene. The remaining alluvial cone surfaces were shaped further by the wind, creating quicksand forms or loess blankets. The features of three lowland landscape types – the alluvial cone plains covered with quicksand and loess, as well as the flood plains – are combined in the topography of these alluvial cone plains at the edge of the basin (or foothills. The part of the Gyöngyösi plain along Tarna and west of Tarna is divided by the backwater beds and sloughs typical of flood plains. The Hevesi sand ridge is the preserved alluvial cover of the ancient Tarna in a prominent position - with loess and exposed quicksand formations. The rest of the Hevesi plain is a barely divided loess surface.The area is in a warm, moderately hot, dry climate zone. This is one of the the driest landscapes in the country. The annual amount of precipitation in the area is 450-550 mm, in addition to the high uncertainty of precipitation. The wettest month is June. At that time, the average amount of precipitation is 55-70 mm. Average temperature fluctuations in the area are large. The average annual temperature is 10.0-10.2 °C. The winter is relatively harsh, the average temperature in January is 2-3 °C. Despite the relatively cold winter, spring starts early, as between April 10 and 15 the average daily temperature already reaches 10 °C, which does not even drop below that until around October 20. Summer is hot. The average temperature in July is around 21-21.5 °C. The number of summer days is 75-85, and the number of hot days is 20-25. The annual duration of sunlight is between 1930 and 2000 hours.

The lands of the Hevesi and the Gyöngyösi plains are poor in water, as there are only a few major watercourses in the area. These are the Laskó-, the Hanyi-, the Bene-, the Tarna- and the Tarnóca- brroks, which nowadays flow in a controlled manner between dams along almost their entire length, so they have little impact on their environment. There are several smaller canals next to these watercourses, , which practivally serve only for drainage. Depending on the rainfall, mainly in the spring and early summer, small or large periodic water appears in the depressions and in the places of the old backwaters, which dry up later, in the warmer summer period.

The lands are very varied from a soil point of view, since nine of the main soil types occur in larger areas and four in smaller areas. A significant part of the area's soils (53%) is saline or under the influence of salt.

Salinity was also characteristic of the landscape in the earlier period, however, after the Kiskörei reservoir builted on Tisza River in the 1970s, the stagnant groundwater level have been rose, which facilitated this process.

The largest part of the protected area is made up of grasslands (47%) and arable fields (46%). Almost 5% of the areas taken out of cultivation, just over 1% of forests and afforestation.

Social characteristics, land-use

The region is characterized by a rural settlement structure. In recent decades, the farms have been liquidated, and the remaining ones mostly function as animal farms. The population migrates due to the unfavorable economic situation, thus most of the settlements show signs of aging. The unemployment rate is extremely high nationally.

The local population living in difficult conditions has a significant negative impact on natural values: for example, the careless disposal of waste in inappropriate places, the illegal collection of winter fuel in protected areas. Collecting chamomile, snails, mushrooms, and burning stubble and lawns is a problem.

A landmark in the relationship between land users and nature conservation was the agri-environment protection program launched in 2002 (nowadays the High Natural Value Areas /MTÉT/ program), which involved the farmers by adapting its guidelines to their farming activity helping need of nature conservation management.

The region belongs to the most economically backward areas of our country. While the population of the villages is rapidly decreasing, only in the vicinity of Lake Tisza is the number of vacationers increasing instead of the permanent population. There are no major industrial facilities in the area, the source of the local population's livelihood is primarily agriculture, and - especially around Lake Tisza - tourism increasing signicantly.

Due to the unfavorable conditions, farming is semi-intensive: the traditional crops requiring low input is typical, the proportion of crops requiring intensive cultivation is on average below 25%. The cropping structure is characterized by a high proportion of grain crops (mainly winter wheat and winter barley), as well as the cultivation of rapeseed and sunflower. With the reduction of the livestock population, the area ratio of lucerne also temporarily decreased, but thanks to the demand of the increasingly MTÉT target programs, nowadays it is once again grown in significant areas.

The grasslands are mainly utilized by herding grazing, which is also helped by the MTÉT regulation, which favors this method of use. With one or two exceptions, the larger livestock farms ceased to exist, so the remaining grasslands are partially untreated, and unfavorable succession processes started on them.


From a plant-geographical point of view, the area is part of the Tiszántúli Flora distribution area (Crisicum). In addition, the vegetation-shaping effect of the hilly and foothill areas in the north and the Tisza River in the south is more pronounced in the species composition of the vegetation, so a kind of transitional nature of this landscape can be highlighted.

More than 1,000 plant species occur in the area, which can be said to be significant, compared to the flora of the Hortobágy National Park on the left bank of the Tisza, where 951 plant species were identified from the wider environment.

Due to significant nature-transforming interventions (extermination of sand oaks, breaking up of swamps and loess deserts), the number of protected plant species that must be considered extinct in the area is very high: e.g. tartar bread plant (Crambe tatarica), stemless and rough sedge (Astragalus exscapus, A. asper), winged orchis (Orchis ustulata).

The most striking type of vegetation is given by the salines soils, forming mosaic habitats in accordance with the diverse microtopography. The mosaicity depends on the duration of ground water and the degree of salinization and erosion of the soil.

The best representatives of the solines (szikes)habitats are found in the Hosszú- and Ludas-fertő, in the Templom-dűlő, around in Jászivány village, and in the Sarudi block in the Pélyi szikes. The marshes and meadows of the salt marshes give space for habitats for the strictly protected native Cirsium brachycephalum, a flowering plant belonging to the family Asteraceae, the endangered Trifolium angulatum and the Ranunculus lateriflorus. The marshes are surrounded by a winding network of sedges, in which annual plants are dominant, such as Pholiorus (Pholiorus pannonicus), narrow-leaf plantain (Plantago tenuiflora) and tiny moustail (Myosurus minimus). The most widespread are the saline lawn plain (Achilleo-Festucetum pseudovinae) and the saline meadows (Artemisio-Festucetum pseudovinae), which are traditionally used for grazing.

In wetter years

the representatives of dwarf mud vegetation (Eleochari

aciculari-Schoenoplectetum supini) also appeared on the edges of inland fields

and swamps, such as the recumbent common false pimpernel (Lindernia

procumbens), the pond sedge (Elatine alsinastrum), the Hungarian sedge (Elatine

hungarica) and the mud fringe (Limosella aquatica). From the point of view of

vegetation history, it is also worth highlighting a valuable plant community

related to salines - but also rich in loess species: the saline forest on steppe

meadow (Peucedano-Asteretum sedifolii), the most valuable stands of which are

found in Nagy-Hanyi near Dormánd. Its typical protected species are Iris

spuria, Peucedanum officinalis and sedum-leaved galatella (Aster sedifolius).

Loess grasslands have largely been dug up and utilized since the Neolithic. Their remains can be found mainly on border ridges, ramparts, and on loess ridges protruding from saline. It is worth highlighting Jerusalem sage (Phlomis tuberosa), Seseli varium, hybrid fire marsh grass (Linaria kocianovichii) and Inula germanica among the valuable loess species of the landscape protection area.

Mountain elements of plantlife have survived on the loess grasslands of the foothills such as Thlaspi jankae, Echium russicum and grape hyacinth (Muscari botryoides).

Spreading of some mountain plants is typical in planted oak forests of the region (e.g. Makkos forest in Pély, Rátkai forest in Besenyőtelek), especially ferns /e.g. narrow buckler-fern and male fern (Dryopteris carthusiana, D. filix-mas)/ and orchids /e.g. white and sword-headed bird's helmet (Cephalanthera damasonium, C. longifolia), broad-leaved and Tallós helleborine (Epipactis helleborine, E. tallosii)/ their appearance is interesting.

The area's forest cover is very low, it is about 1%. The landscape is characterized by scattered rows of trees and solitary trees along the fields and remaining lawns. These are largely made up of alien species, such as narrow-leaved silverwood (Eleagnus angustifolia), white acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia), as well as various poplar clones left over from the time of agricultura cooperatives of socialism. These rows of trees fit very well into the mosaic arrangement of lands and lawns. Despite the fact that the right to exist of these tree species in our country is questionable from a nature conservation point of view, they are very well adapted to the extreme weather conditions, salty soils and to the extremely fluctuating water balance of the region and provide an excellent nesting opportunity for the rich bird life of the Hevesi Plain, especially for the protected and highly protected birds of prey and for European roller.

There are only a few patches of forest patches planted in this region, mainly in the decades following the World War II.

Examples include the Makkos forest in Pély, the Prónai forest in Mezőszemere, or the Disznóskert and Rátkai forest in Besenyőtelek. Mostly domestic species were used for these forestation so pedunculated oak, white poplar, Hungarian ash and wild pear mainly make up these stands. Their preservation is an important nature conservation task, because botanically and zoologically very valuable species can be associated with them.

Tree species replacements and renovations began on the land under the management of the National Park Board. We try to replace the disappearing rows of trees and small patches of forest with domestic species and, if necessary, to supplement them by creating afforestation in new areas.

There are some wet habitats such as the Tisza river-bank, in the vicinity of Erk - Tarnaörs, but scattered throughout the landscape, with large noble poplar plantations. Their purpose is primarily timber production, however, if they are located in a protected area, there is an obligation after logging to renovate them with domestic tree species.


For a long time, the natural values of the Hevesi Plain were only partially known. Methodical surveys and research following the creation of the Landscape Protection Area made it possible to explore the extremely diverse wildlife. The zoological research quickly led to the conclusion that despite the "cultural landscape" the region ensure the existence of a diverse and species-rich animal life here.


In the past decades, the research of the invertebrate fauna became intensive during the basic condition assessment of the protected landscape area, and then during various data collection and monitoring programmes and investigations completed.Today, the area is quite well known for the occurrence of butterflies, ground beetles, wasps and spiders. Despite the fact that the area is primarily agricultural, the patchwork of natural habitats, especially grassland fragments, represent the habitats of many rare, protected invertebrate species.

400 species of butterflies have been detected in the area, which represents more than 30% of the domestic butterflies.Several of these are significant from a nature conservation point of view, 3 species are strictly protected, 30 species are protected, and 23 species can be called faunistically interesting. Among the highly protected species, the Dioszeghyana schmidtii living on the oak tree is known from a few larger patches of forest, the Catopta thrips was detected from a loess lawn.

Protected species of moths are also the pygmy moth (Proserpinus prosrpina) associated with tall diseased vegetation, and the barn owl (Periphanes delphinii) associated with cornflower-poppy-maggot field edges. Among the diurnal butterflies, many protected species can be found in the area, such as the small Apollo butterfly (Parnassius mnemosyne) which grows on Coridalys species in the undergrowth of the forest patches, the birthwort butterfly (Zerynthia polyxena) which is attached to the sedges along canals and roadsides, and the large firefly (Lycaena dispar rutilus) which lives in the swamp meadows.More than 212 species of ground beetles have been identified in the region, which represents 40% of the domestic species. It is particularly interesting that in 2005 a species new to the fauna of Hungary, Dyschirius benedikti, was found in the area. Among the large Carabus species, the rare, protected Carabus clathratus can be found almost everywhere in the saline marshes, while in drier habitats you can find specimens of the Field Carabus (Carabus granulatus) and the Calosoma auropunctatum. Among the smaller Carabidae species, there are also many rare ones associated with salt marshes. Perhaps the rarest of these is Microlestes negrita, known from only two places in Hungary so far. Thus, the Hevesi plain is home to the third proven domestic occurrence of the species.

In addition to ground beetles, there are rarities among the plate-tentacled beetles, which occur in large numbers in the area. Such is the protected Hungarian flower bug (Potosia ungarica).

Its relative, the also protected magnificent flower bug (Potosia aeruginosa), which can only be found around forest patches, does not visit flowers, it sucks the sap of trees. Since it flies in the canopy, it is rarely seen, and little information is known about it.

The Common Wart-biter grasshopper (Decticus verrucivorus) is a characteristic species among the straight-winged bugs, but it is also worth mentioning the rare cone-headed grasshopper (Acrida hungarica), which is associated with desert habitats. Here, it is worth mentioning the protected European mantis (Mantis religiosa), which is still common in the region today.

The spider fauna is typical of the salt marshes of the Great Plain. The rare, protected species living in the salt marshes are the great raft spider (Dolomedes plantarius) and the diving bell spider (Argyroneta aquatica). Among the ground-dwelling species, the also protected Songarian spider (Lycosa singoriensis), our largest domestic spider species, must be mentioned. During the day, wolf spiders, like the desert wolf spider (Pardosa agrestis), and at night, stone spiders hunt without a catcher net.