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North Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve
Nature Conservation What to do?
Administrative division: Salacgrīva, Rūjiena, Aloja, Mazsalaca, Naukšēni discrict, part of Limbaži, Burtnieki, Kocēni, Strenči, Valka discrict.
Area: 475514 ha (457 708 ha land and 17 806 ha marine).
Year of fundation: 1997
Logo: download >>>

Law (11.05.2011.): download >>>

Nature values:
NVBR represents the terrestrial and coastal Baltic sea ecosystems, covering also river basins of the coast of Gulf Riga. It includes 10 counties – fully and partially - with a total area of 457,708 hectares or ~6% of the total area of Latvia. The area also includes a coastline of 57 km or 1/9 of the total country`s coastline with adjacent 17 806 hectares of sea aquatorium up to 10 m depth.

More than a half of NVBR terrestrial area is covered by forests and swamps, value of which is confirmed by a fact that out of 28 protected areas in NVBR 20 were established particularly for protecting forest and swamp habitats. The area of NVBR also includes 24 nature reserves, 1 nature park and 2 protected marine area, that are recognized as areas with European importance - Natura 2000 protected areas. River Salaca nearby the Red Rocks.

NVBR area is attractive for tourists for its amazing nature values – river Salaca, that starts its 95 km long journey from the scenic lake Burtnieks and finishes it in the Baltic sea, the only coastal meadows in Latvia - Randu meadows, Vidzeme rocky seashore with its rock outcrops and of course a variety of swamps and bog. For water tourists river Salaca is always an adventure - peaceful and scenic sections interchanging with rapids and swift rocky turns. The most beautiful views can be found nearby Mazsalaca, where outcrops and caves follows one another on the way down the river – Sparrow rock, Carnation rock, Dauģēni rocks, Angel`s cave, Devil`s cave, Cow`s cave etc. Not to mention the spectacular Skaņaiskalns rock – up to 12 m high, 90 m wide rock that happens to be the smoothest rock in Latvia with a unique acoustic effect. Down the river behind Staicele, where the river becomes more rapid, you can see Pietrags rock and Red rocks, which during winter usually are covered with large icicles. Madiešēnu purvs dabas liegumā Augstroze.

For those who want to explore tha nature values of NVBR by themselves, we recommend to visit some of the 18 nature trails of NVBR. Just keep in mind that utilities of those may differ, depending on the managing authority. It can be either carefree walk on a wooden footbridge and a well-trampled soil path, or an almost extreme adventure with overcoming different obstacles. Some of the trails also offer a chance to observe the landscape from different watching towers and platforms. For those you should visit Randu meadows, Niedrāju-Pilka bog, Seda bog, Oleri bog and lake Burtnieks. Randu meadows with its watching tower is especially popular for bird watchers. In May 2006 this tower helped to set a new record - 114 observed bird species in 24 hours, during the annual bird watcher`s contest “Tower battles”. There are in total 363 bird species that you can see in Latvia.

Biosphere Reserve external borders and functional boundaries scheme:
Natural data management system OAK
Landscape ecological plan: download >>>