In 2001 a proposal for establishment of a new nature park covering the canyons of the Vit Rriver and its tributaries was developed. The park is situated south of Pleven and was named after the beautiful “Studenets” area. Students area includes a karst gorge of the Vit River, in the center of the proposed park’s territory, covering an area of 18 900 ha.
The richness of the landscapes, animals, plants and archeological monuments is unique and can only be compared to the Rusenski Lom Nature Park. The prposed park includes:
- Many established protected areas, as Studenets, Chernelka and Kailuka karst canyons,
- The unique excavation site of Miocene fossils near the villages Yasen and Turnene,
- The last deciduous natural forests in this part of the country situated between the villages Beglej, Nikolaevo and Katunets,
- The caves “Gininnata” and “Parnitsite” near Sadovets and Bejanovo etc.
The combination of massive cliffs, forests, karst forms, running and still waters predetermines the rich diversity of flora and fauna. The region hosts a variety of endemic plants such as Seseli degenii. Rare plants as Galanthus elwesii and Jurinea ledebourii have large localities there. Rare and endagered animal species such as black stork, eagle owl, corncrake, Egyptian vulture, otter, marbled pole cat and many others can be seen in the area. There is unique diversity of bats in the caves. Numerous historical and archeological monuments can be found in the territory of the park, which together with the rich biodiversity and unspoiled nature offer excellent opportunities for the development ecological tourism. Landuse practices provide suitable conditions for the development of ecological agriculture.
Establishment of such nature park fills the essential need of protected areas in the plains. It is all the more important in the context of the low number of protected areas in the plains compared to those at the mountains.
Five municipalities (Pleven, Dolni Dubnik, Cherven briag, Ugurchin and Lukovit), local NGOs and BALKANI Wildlife Society took part In the development of the proposal. The work was supported by the Regional Forests Directorate in Lovetch and the History museum in Pleven.