GrassLIFE demonstration farm “Dabas saimniecība Bekas // Nature farm BEKAS” is located in Ziemeļgauja in a territory that is exceptionally rich in nature values. The largest part of the 80 ha farm’s territory lies within nature reserve and nature park of protected landscape area Ziemeļgauja. In the pastures of the farm you can find 13 different EU priority habitats of grasslands, forests and waters. Here you can find also more than 30 protected species of plants, animals and fungi.
Almost every square meter of the farm is a protected nature object in scale of Latvia or European Union.
The farm currently is raising beef cattle and producing honey, and will continue these activities that have been carried out on this land historically and serve as a precondition of the outstanding nature diversity of today.
Restoration of grasslands
During the project the farm will restore around 52 ha of grassland habitats, including 6210* semi natural dry grasslands, 6530* Fennoscandian wooded meadows, 6120* Xeric and calcareous grasslands.
Bekas will use already well known methods for restoration of grasslands as well as test new approaches:
- Re-planting of a species rich turf in the habitat undergoing restoration
- Gathering of seeds of plants appropriate for the habitat and sowing in the restoration areas
- Removal of trees and bushes, milling and removal of stumps
- Restorative grazing and mowing of varied intensity
- Reconstruction of traditional landscape of meadows and pastures
The farm will also produce new tools that are grassland-friendly, for example a flushing bar for alerting birds and other species during mowing.
Events and demonstrations
The farm will not only carry out grassland restoration, but also will scientifically evaluate the success of restoration and share their knowledge with everyone who is interested in restoration of grasslands.
The farm is open to visitors, and there will be seminar center where different events related to grassland restoration will take place. The farm will also serve as a resource hub for grassland restoration and will produce different informative materials and gather literature about grasslands and nature friendly agriculture.
The farm and demonstrations are led by Viesturs Lārmanis and Inese Gmizo-Lārmane.