Bratislava has a new nature reserve, the first of its kind in Slovakia

The highest degree of nature protection in the capital does not prevent people from enjoying nature.

Nature reserve VydricaNature reserve Vydrica (Source: Courtesy of MLBA)

Bratislava, as one of a few capitals, has the advantage that its inhabitants or visitors need to take just a public bus to get to fine forests. After they became part of a new nature reserve, there is a good chance the forests will become even more beautiful than they are now.

The Vydrica nature reserve was declared on February 1, 2022. It sprawls over the wooded slopes of the Small Carpathians above the Rača borough and along the eponymous Vydrica brook, where the European otter that once lived here has recently reappeared. The environment minister hopes that under the highest level of protection, Vydrica will become a showcase of how the authentic Small Carpathian forest look. ​

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Upgrading the protection status of this locality changes nothing in the way people can use it for sports and recreation. This means that the logging of trees, construction activities and hunting are now forbidden.

Lost in Bratislava? Impossible with this City Guide!Lost in Bratislava? Impossible with this City Guide!

“I believe that this is a swallow that makes a summer and that similar reserves focused on soft tourism will be created throughout Slovakia,” said Environment Minister Ján Budaj during the launch of the reserve. “Declaring a locality a nature reserve should not prevent people from enjoying nature.”

The aim of establishing the nature reserve is to protect habitats of European and national importance and animals of European importance in this territory.

“One objective is to ensure that local natural communities develop,” said Peter Puchala, director of CHKO Malé Karpaty, the arm of the state nature protection organisation that oversees nature protection in the Small Carpathians Protected Landscape Area. CHKO Malé Karpaty encompasses the new reserve.

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