The Danube-Ipoly National Park Directorate
The Danube-Ipoly National Park was founded on 28 November 1997. The present operation area of the Directorate covers Pest, Fejér, and Komárom-Esztergom County.
The Danube-Ipoly National Park’s area covers the Pilis, Visegrád, and Börzsöny Hills, a part of the Ipoly Valley between Hont and Balassagyarmat, and some areas of Szentendre Island. The diversity of the area is unique in Hungary due to the fact that it is a meeting point of rivers, hills, and plain.
Several other protected areas belong to Danube-Ipoly National Park Directorate as well:
- Eight protected landscape areas: Ócsa PLA, Vértes PLA, Gerecse PLA, Buda PLA, Sárrét PLA, Gödöllő Hills PLA, Sárvíz Valley PLA, Tápió-Hajta PLA.
- And thirty-three nature reserves: Adony NR, Arboretum of Alcsút NR, Belsőbáránd-Tátorjános NR, Chemotaxonomical Botanical Garden of Budakalász NR, Botanical Garden of Budapest NR, Cegléd Meadow NR, Juniper Thickets of Csévharaszt NR, Turjános NR of Dabas, Dinnyés Morass NR, Dunaalmás Quarries NR, Kakukk Hill NR of Érd, Fóti-Somlyó NR, Gellért Hill NR, Royal Palace Park of Gödöllő NR, Háros Island Floodplain Forest NR, Jókai Garden NR, Palace Park of Martonvásár NR, Geographical Centre of Hungary NR, Rocking Stones of Pákozd NR, Surface of Pál Valley Cave NR, Forest Park of Pereg NR, Rácalmás Islands NR, Rétszilas Lakes NR, Sas Hill NR, Sandpit of Székesfehérvár NR, Surface of Szemlő Hill Cave NR, Production site of Szentendre Rose NR, Tamariska Hill NR, Kálvária Hill NR of Tata, Pasture of Tura NR, Botanical Garden of Vácrátót NR, Bird Sanctuary of Velence NR, Prehistoric Settlement NR of Vértesszőlős.
The most important duty of the Directorate is the planning and execution of maintenance of the protected areas, organisation of research, and asset management. In addition, the basic objective is the conservation of the landscape’s emblematic image, intactness, undisturbed wildlife tranquillity, richness in species, and purity of waters; the protection of forests, soil, and other renewable resources; preservation of cultural values.
An important research activity is the continuous monitoring of wildlife, which means a long-term observation of certain features of the selected habitats and associations. Based on the data gained from these observations, changes in the condition of nature can be followed.
In the framework of habitat protection programs, we counteract the negative effects of human interventions in order to preserve protected species.
Regarding the protection of species, we managed to achieve significant results in the conservation of Ferula sadleriana (‘magyarföldi husáng’), Liparis loeselii (‘hagymaburok’), Nepeta (or catmints), and Linum dolomiticum (‘pilisi len’). Without effective interventions, the Hungarian meadow viper (Vipera ursinii rakosiensis) would certainly become extinct; the protection of red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus) and the saker falcon (Falco cherrug) populations is realised in the framework of species conservation programs.
There are about 34 rangers on duty in the area of the Danube-Ipoly National Park Directorate. Their principal duty is the guarding of areas, habitats, and species under protection, and by different conservation authority instruments the prevention of causing further damages: spot fines, misdemeanour or criminal accusation.
For the preservation of natural values, it is essential to inform the population extensively, to widen people’s knowledge, and to enhance commitment towards nature conservation. Therefore, visitors are welcome in the entire operational area of the Directorate throughout the year with diverse programs: we organise events and guided tours on our nature trails, and operate demonstration sites. Beside our twelve nature trails, the Forest School of Királyrét in Börzsöny, the “Pilis Len” Visitor Centre, the “Kökörcsin” Forest School in Esztergom, and the “Pálfája” Educational Centre in Nagykőrös offer popular programs as well. Beside caves reconstructed for tourists, participation in so-called “jumpsuit” tours in non-reconstructed caves is also possible. There is a lookout and a trail with interactive exhibitions and a panoramic terrace operating in the Visitor Centre of Sas Hill in Buda; in Jókai Garden, in Buda, under the huge trees of the park, we displayed information boards demonstrating Jókai’s age and the natural values of the garden, the instruments of the bird-friendly garden, and Hungary’s rocks; we guide tours with rented bicycles and canoes on Szentendre Island; and we offer ethnographic and nature value related craft and field programs in the historic buildings of the House of Regional Traditions in Ócsa. It is worth visiting the 40-hectare English Garden of the Arboretum of Alcsút all year round, but it is especially nice from mid-February to March, when it is covered by snowdrop fields. The Dinnyés Morass also worth a visit because, particularly during autumnal bird migrations, huge flocks of teal birds and thousands of wild geese can be observed.