Press Release, October, 8th 2015
Autumn: One of the best times to visit Prespa. Earthy colors, the smell of the first rains, autumn mushrooms, wild fruits and many more make up the landscape of an autumn walk in the juniper forests of Prespa. Guided by your mobile phone and the new Prespa Juniper application, tour the forests and discover their secrets.
Go to www.junex.gr, download the application on your mobile and discover four unique trails. Maps, information on the rare "Greek Juniper Forest" habitat type and its rich flora and fauna, as well as historical information on the cultural monuments that can be seen on the trails, are all included in the app.
The juniper forests of Prespa are a particularly special part of the European Union, as they are one of the largest such forests in the Balkans (approximately 2,000 ha) and they also include rare groves of ancient junipers such as that at Agios Georgios, Psaradhes.
The Prespa Juniper application was created as part of the LIFE + JunEx project which aims at the protection and promotion of this unique forest. The juniper forests are mainly at risk from the rapid development of other broadleaved tree species, such as oak, hornbeam and hop hornbeam, which restrict the growth of the slower-growing junipers. The project is attempting to restore the balance between these species with a series of measures such as clearing, selective logging of broadleaf trees, and in particular by reintroducing grazing in areas of these forests.
For more information:
Dimitra Paschalidou, Communications Officer, Society for the Protection of Prespa, 0030 23850-51211
Notes for editors:
The LIFE + Nature (2013-2017) project - JunEx: «Restoration and Conservation of Priority habitat type 9562 * Greek Juniper Forests (Juniperetum excelsae) in Prespa National Park" is being implemented by the SPP in co-operation with the Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre and is 75% co-funded by the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union. All project activities are carried out with the assistance and contribution of local authorities and bodies such as the Forestry Department of Florina, the Municipality of Prespa and the Management Body of Prespa National Park.