A special project, budgeted at 3.5 million euros

Kavala community representatives see the new project aimed at protecting and highlighting the forest that flanks the Nestos River as a unique endeavor for Greece. The Big Forest, which will double in size by the time the project is completed, is the largest riverside forest in Greece, and saving it demands innovative measures, say the authors of the study. The project is exceptional because nothing of this nature has ever been attempted before on such a large scale. The 3.5-million-euro budget is the largest for any environmental project in the prefecture, says Kavala Prefect T. Kalliontzis. He believes that focusing on the forest will also help promote other places of natural beauty along the river (Stena, Limnes and the Nestos Delta), which, after Prespes, is the most popular wetland in Greece, with its abundant flora and fauna. Among the natural life in the forest are 41 species of fish, 20 kinds of snakes, 11 types of amphibians and 14 mammals. The area is estimated to be a transit point for 180 kinds of migratory birds. Kavala forestry officials working with EKBY estimate that after two years of work and five years’ growth of trees, shrubs and climbing plants that have been propagated naturally or artificially, the riverside forest will be larger than 700 hectares. Environmental park Work is to take place on either side of the river, south of Chrysoupolis. The forestry authority, prefecture and municipality of Chrysoupolis hope that the environmental park containing representative species – comprising two small forests in the heart of a larger one – one on the east side of the river (on the border with the Tapeirou municipality of Xanthi) and the other on the east side (on the boundary of Kavala prefecture) – will become a major attraction. The Municipality of Chrysoupolis is planning to put a small train in place to take visitors on a tour of the forest.

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