On 27 September 2023, the company staff participated in an outstanding team building activity. We got outdoors, and while enjoying the mild autumn weather, we did something beneficial to the environment: we planted 960 native tree saplings in the Merzse Swamp Nature Reserve Area.
Why was the Merzse Swamp Nature Reserve Area the right choice to plan trees?
The area is located in the southeastern part of the XVII. district of Budapest, on the administrative border of Ecser-Budapest. The protected habitat is surrounded by uninhabited areas, primarily arable land and plantation forests. By its nature, the marsh dries up regularly, a process further strengthened by the massive transformation of the surrounding habitats belonging to the marsh catchment. Liszt Ferenc Airport has been built nearby, and a busy railway line runs close by, the embankment of which has separated part of the catchment from the marsh. In addition, drainage ditches designed to protect nearby agricultural land are also contributing to the drying process. In recent decades, this was the site of the capital’s latest large-scale reforestation, which has resulted in a succession of stunted oaks, poplars and acacia trees planted in rows around the wetland.
Its botanical values have largely been destroyed, but we know from the records that there used to be great moor-orchid meadows here. Orchid species that disappeared in the mid-1990s have reappeared in the area since 2016, and ever since species are being discovered. The regenerating habitats are now home to 8 species of orchids. There are 4 ferns, 131 dicotyledonous and 51 monocotyledonous species living in the area. Reed beds, bush grasslands, willow-poplar grove forests are the native trees of the swamp.
The partially degraded but slowly recovering flora is home to a very rich fauna. Birdwatching is facilitated by the installation in 2015 of a tower from which you can look around safely and without disturbing the animals.
Every single tree planted counts in making a difference
The team welcomed the opportunity to plant trees. We were delighted to get out of our offices/laboratories and recharge our batteries while at the same time positively contributing to the environment. We collected valuable experiences.
We are grateful to the Charity Team Building for their help in organizing the event and to the Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society for preparing the venue. We are sure to return and continue our endeavor.