Balkani Wildlife Society


Dragoman marsh and Chepan

Dragoman Marsh and Chepan Hill are one of the most valuable nature territories near Sofia, a uniqie combination of wetlands and karst hills with interesting plant and animal species. As most of the wetlands in Bulgaria the Dragoman marsh was destroyed in the 50s so that the territory can be used for agriculture reasons. After 1990 the draining activities stopped and the marsh started gradually to recovere to its original state. Today it is one of the most important breeding areas in the region of Sofia. Balkani has been working in the region since 1996. The restoration, conservation and popularization of the nature territory is to some extent a result of Balkani ‘s on-going work in the area, including the following activities:

  • Biodoversity monitoring, afforestation with local tree species, environmental education (since 1996)
  • Project for purchase of land in the marsh aiming at declaring a protected territoriy and its sustainable management (since 1998)
  • Providing basic tourist infrastructure – wooden path in the marsh, birdwatching tower, photo hide (since 2004)
  • Submitted proposal from Balkani and Municipality of Dragoman for declaring the Dragoman marsh a protected territory. (2005)
  • Submitted and approved proposals for SPA BG0002001 “Rayanovtsi” and pSCI BG0000322 “Dragoman” (2006)
  • Preparation of a management plan for the site, reintroduction of waterwheel plant, improving local capacity for tourism development, improvement of visitors infrastructure. (since 2007)

More information for the visitors and the education activities is available in Centre Dragoman.