…the wanderer hums while leaving the road towards the North, turning onto the bank of the Korokna creek. And rightly so, the herd of grey cattle is lying on the grass by the Fehérvíz, well-fed. Here and there storks are walking around, searching for food.
On the bushes of the distant willow-marsh, the great white egrets are standing up in attention, like tall, white candles. The youngsters of the cormoran colony are the loudest of all creatures of the marshes as they are constantly begging for food from their ever returning parents. The yellow wagtail is running around quickly, catching insects one by one. On the edge of the nearby reedy spot, the blue tit’s turquoise vest is shining in the light. The dark contours of the Badacsony hill are blurred by the warm breeze in the mid-day heat.
This is the scenery which the traveller could see at the beginning of the previous century, but the draining of these wetlands caused severe destruction. From the middle of the 1980’s the grazing animals also disappeared from the Berek. Golden rod overgrew the fields and the storks were not such common anymore.
In 2006, we purchased 35 hectares of land from the Széchenyi family to protect what was left to be protected, and we named the area „Ciconia field“ after the scientific name of the white stork. From our herd in Somogyfajsz we will reintroduce the grey cattle here. We mow and we graze the area, and once the field regains it original state, the sound of the cowbell will bring the storks back as well.
This project could not have been carried out without the invaluable help of the Ciconia Foundation, Lichtenstein.