Nature of the Belarusian Polesie is rich in its diversity. It is difficult to enumerate everything that nature can give for our life, culture and creativity. It is an inexhaustible source for all benefits. We can`t live without it. The importance of nature to man increases, thanks to the development of society, science and technology.
“Nature is our wealth. Love and take care of it”. We know it from the first from, but we begin to understand the importance of it only when we are adults, we see what it means air and water pollution, cutting forests, extermination of valuable species of fish, animals, birds, rare plants and destruction of monuments. Nature takes revenge for inefficient attention to it. And revenge strikes not who violates its laws, but the whole society.
Every person wants to walk in a forest, a river or a meadow. If we travel a lot, we will know and love our nature more. Excursions, hiking and walking tours in the open air are simply a vital necessity today. And it is no accident. It is known that the beauty of Polesie`s forests, lakes and rivers is amazing, and it makes to tremble the heart of every person. That`s why, the noble cause of nature protection is for everyone.
In the Republic of Belarus, a special attention is paid to the protection of environment. National parks, reserves and preserves have been established to maintain and increase rare, endangered species of flora and fauna. Their role is enormous. No wonder, these areas have a protected status. Every year people from different parts of Belarus and countries of near and distant foreign lands, attend there places to see and enjoy the exceptional beauty and unique diversity of forest landscapes, the richness of flora and fauna.
In order to preserve the largest floodplain landscapes of the river Pripiat, having no analogues in Europe, the decision of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus on July 19,1999 №1105, it was created a national landscape reserve “Sredniaia Pripiat”. Its territory is included in the list of wetlands of international importance, it is adopted in accordance with the Convention on wetlands of international importance, especially as a habitat for birds.
When we take into account the environmental value of the Pripiat`s floodplain and its importance for biodiversity conservation, in 1997 it was begun the preparation of a unified scientific basis for protected nature area “Sredniaia Pripiat”, which is currently within the boundaries of the three districts of Brest region (Pinsk, Luninets, Stolin) and Zhitkovichi district of Gomel region. December 28,2005 decision of Pinsk Regional Executive Committee, the state environmental agency “Landscapes reserves of national importance “Sredniaia Pripiat” and “Prostyr” were created in order to manage this area more effectively.
Rare biotopes for Belarus and the entire European continent grow an area over 90.000 ha, 13.434 ha are on the territory of Pinsk district. Mature floodplain oak forests, affecting its ma jesty, border on low-lying marshes and endless meadows, which occupy more than half of the reserve. In the depths of it, a shelter has been become 725 species of plants, 36 species of mammals (a moose, a wild boar, a roe, a wolf and etc.), the particular pride is 182 species of birds. 52 species are listed in the Red Book of Belarus, 39 of which nest in floodplain: a little bittern, a night-heron, an aigrette, a black stork, a pintail, a spotted eagle and others. The reserve is paradise for them! Besides the permanent nesting, the territory is visited by a huge mass of migratory feathered friends, performing their annual road from north to south and back again.
On the territory of the landscape reserve “Sredniaia Pripiat”, in Belarus, is the largest reproductive`s center of beavers, otters and American minks. These near-water dwellers feel masters of the local places. Sometimes, travelling by the Pripiat, eyes are stunning beautiful coastal landscapes – the beaver`s tricks. Beaver`s huts, dams and other structures industrious inhabitants of the river force to treat them with respect.
The Pripiat floodplain, giving life impenetrable swamps and water meadows, is a favourable habitation for amphibians and reptiles. There are 16 species of them in the reserve.
Speaking of all delights, sights and treasures of the Pripiat, we can`t fail to mention about abundance of fish. We have more than 30 species of fish in its waters: a pike, a bream, a sheatfish, a perch, a roach, a zander and others. Many exciting moments, feelings and impressions gave our river and it is sure to give fishers from different parts of Belarus and foreign countries. It was here, that they were be able to realize the pleasure of victory over a wise carp and taste the bitterness of defeat from a proud and invincible old-sheatfish. Fishing enthusiasts will remember these moments for a lifetime and recall them with a sincere awe and excitement.
The territory of reserve “Sredniaia Pripiat” has attracted people since ancient times. Archaeological excavations confirm existence even sites of the Stone Age. Today, archaic villages Kudrichi, Kuradovo and Ploschevo are preserved at the place of these sites. Almost it has been cut off civilization and the city, these settlements have preserved their identity, going back to ancient times. Architecture of these villages is inimitable and unique. Cane`s roofs of houses and barns in harmony with stork`s nests, which like people, feel here the masters. Slowly walking among the houses, they give the landscape a kind of calm and measured, so it is a characteristic of Polesie. It is sad that only elderly people live here and they can tell us about how to set up a deck-board, dugouts…Inevitably, the number of local people are reduced, and therefore you need to hurry to get here, so as to be able to talk with true “poleshukami”.
But not only “Sredniaia Pripiat” is unique in Pinsk. This pristine oasis, in the south of the region, on the area of 3,440 ha, between the Pripiat and the Prostyr, is the landscape reserve “Prostyr”. This area along with the reserve “Sredniaia Pripiat” is included in the Ramsar`s list of the world`s protected wetlands.
This area is a reference site of natural, untouched by melioration of swampy meadow lands with a rich flora and fauna. When there is a swamp somewhere, it is here. But do not be afraid of this word, it has long proved the importance of wetland arrays for our continent and you should only seek to know and admire the nature of the places, to learn from local residents the ability to live in harmony with the environment.
“Belarussian Amazonia” can be called Polesie, without doubt. Anyone, who has visited local places to note and remember the extraordinary natural richness and the originality of the local scenery. You can admire the beauty of Polesie on foot, by boat or from the car`s window. Natural, ethnographic and historical features of the region make attractive “Sredniaia Pripiat” and “Prostyr” for domestic and foreign tourists.