The Warta Landscape Park (POL: Nadwarciański Park Krajobrazowy) protects the Warta river and its surrounding areas – not its entirety, but its more valuable natural area west of Konin, where the winding Warta in its middle flow has left behind many picturesque oxbows. The park stretches all the way to the mouth of river Prosna to Warta outside of Pyzdry. More than half of the park’s area is covered by precious meadows, grasslands and mostly wetlands – the latter closely related to Warta’s periodic floodings. Those terrain conditions foster the existence and breeding of aquatic and mud birds – currently, about 230 species are present and the representatives of 150 breed in the park, among them the incredibly rare common redshanks, common snipes, black-tailed godwits, common kingfishers or Eurasian penduline tits as well as the lapwing – the park’s emblem animal. There are also numerous nests of the white stork as well as many locations of its rarer cousin – the black stork. In season, thousands of white geese feeding in the meadows on the Warta shores are quite the sight to see.
Among the unique localities of plants, the Warta riparian zone is definitely noteworthy; today it is a mere fragment of the former extensive riparian area, turned into meadows and grasslands over time. It is also the locality of rare plants – the marsh angelica, the thinleaf brookweed and the softstem bulrush. In the so-called pyzdyrskie meadows there is Wielkopolska’s only locality of the Anacamptis palustris. It might also be worthwhile to see if you can find the giant horsetail, the Dianthus superbus, the Siberian iris or the marsh gentian.
The southern part of the Warta Bicycle Trail runs through the park along the river (from Poznań to the Jeziorsko reservoir). There are also many marinas and kayak rentals. Also attractive are the remarkably beautiful monuments – among them the post-Cistercian abbey in Ląd and the palace of the Poznań bishops in Ciążeń with the magnificent view of the Warta oxbows. In Ląd, make sure to visit the nature education center as well as the reconstructed medieval town, where the Slavic and Cistercian Culture Festival takes place each year. Another attraction is definitely a ferry ride on Warta in Sławsko, Sługocin lub Ciążeń.
Text: Jacek Y. Łuczak
Translation: Kaja Kurczewska