Sod cutting was carried out in the heath of the protected landscape area "Adazi" and Adazi military training area in the autumn and winter 2015 - until the earth froze and snow appeared. This nature management method is innovative in Latvia and helps to create a diverse, natural heath mosaic.
By removing the topsoil, open sand grounds are formed in the heath. Rare plant species such as Grey Hair-grass and Wild Thyme that can not compete with more robust plants, grow into sand. Rare insects - Digger Wasp and Blue-winged Grasshopper are found in the sandy patches. Rare in Europe Tawny Pipit and specially protected in Latvia Hoopoe feed in sand grounds.
Sod cutting is carried out by a tractor specially equipped with a front loader with a bucket in the heath areas mostly smaller than one hectare - 0.1 to 1.7 ha. Prior to that, the sappers of the National Armed Forces cleared these areas from unexploded ammunition. In 2015 sod cutting was carried out in a total of 1.43 ha. Unexploded ammunition has been removed from another 5.91 hectares, where removing of the topsoil will be carried out in the spring - summer 2016.
Within the project sod cutting will be carried out in a total of 20 hectares.
Although innovative in Latvia, elsewhere in Europe it is a common heath management method that has been used for many years in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and in other countries.