Heath

Flowering "Adazi" heath. Photo: Ieva Mardega.

“Adazi” heath is about two thousand hectares wide landscape formed by the sunny and windy mosaic of heath, dunes and sparsely growing trees in the dry, nutrient poor soil. Many animal and plant species rare in Europe are found here. In the early spring mornings Black Grouse lek in the heath, and as the first in the spring emerge Eastern Pasque Flowers with fluffy, purple blooms. In the summer days the simple song of Tawny Pipit can be heard in the plains, but at night European Nightjars rattle resembles the sound of a distant motorcycle engine growl. In the second half of the summer around 20 species of grasshoppers are found in the heath in high numbers. European Roller families from a wide surrounding area feed on them.  But the most magnificent the heath becomes during the flowering time in August when purple heather colour is dominant throughout Adazi military training area for several weeks.

In the protected landscape area "Adazi" heath has originated in the result of fires and military activities. Under natural conditions, heaths form in dry areas after fires, in grazed areas or temporarily exist in the clear-cuts. Long term existence of heath relies on regular disturbances. In the Adazi training area frequency and scale of the military training has decreased in last twenty years, so large areas of heath overgrow with trees and bushes and is no longer suitable for open plain plants and animals.

The project will restore 1,100 hectares of overgrown heath. Cutting down of trees and bushes, mowing, controlled burning, as well as sod cutting – new method in Latvia will be carried out in the heath. Before the restoration works area will be cleaned from the unexploded ammunition.