How to get here

It is easy to get to the Borsáros nature reserve. Going form Miercurea Ciuc to Sfântu Gheorghe we turn right in the village of Sîncrăieni. As we pass the bridge over the river Olt, on the left we can see the enclosed birch trees in the neighborhood of a mineral water spring.  

Map of the road from Miercurea Ciuc to the Borsáros.

Description of the area

 The Borsáros marshland is situated 7 km south-east from the town of Miercurea Ciuc, right in the center of the village of Sâncrăieni, on the bank of the river Olt, 640 m above the sea level. The „Borsáros” (approx. translation of this dialect expression is „mineral water mud”) name comes from the yellowish-red colour of the limonitic grounds. The marshland follows the river bank on a distance of 1 km and it is fed by 108 cold mineral water springs.

The dump, cold microclimate of the Borsáros marshland houses several plants that are remains of the ice age, therefore its flora is a valuable one. In 1939 the area was declared botanical reservation, being the first nature protection area in the Ciuc basin.

One of the peculiar plants of the area is the Yellow Marsh Saxifrage  (Saxifraga hirculus) and a glacial relic birch species (Betula humilis), this area being one of the most southern habitat of this birch. Research shows that a protected species Ligularia sibirica started to spread here at the end of the twentieth century. Presently the most valuable part of this area is where Saxifraga hirculus, the Great Sundew (Drosera anglica), Buckbean (Menyanthes trifoliata), the Creeping Willow (Salix repens), and the Marsh Helleborine (Epipactis palustris) live.

In 1943-1944 the area was drained which was the first serious damaged caused to this habitat, followed by activities such as building a bridge and an overpass above the railways in 1954, constructions that sectioned the area, diminishing it and making serious damages.

Powerful pollution was caused by the wastewater of an animal farm that was open here between 1970 and 1980. This activity coincided with the regulations of the river Olt, when they removed the river band such decreasing water level and groundwater level as well. These factors have affected the flora of the area. Since 1990 fewer interventions have been made, groundwater level has raised slightly and the flora has been regenerated to a certain extent.

Due to the decrease of groundwater some other species proliferate, such as various willows, especially the Goat Willow (Salix caprea), birch (Betula pendula), the Water Horsetail (Equisetum fluviatile) and Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria).

Despite of these changes Borsáros is sill one of the most valuable nature protection areas of the Szeklerland. It is part of the Natura 2000 South Ciuc Habitat Protection Area (ROSCI0007).

The Natura 2000 network is the complex of all protected areas in the European Union which is denominated according to two frame laws, the Birds Directive (79/409/EC) and the Habitats Directive (92/43/EC). Accordingly there are two types of Natura 2000 areas: special protection areas for birds (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation to be designated for other species, and for habitats (SACs or SCIs). The aim of the network is to protect the biological diversity of Europe. The Natura 2000 areas are usually large territories that are not necessarily incompatible with human activities, but when there is a plan of infrastructural investment or a building plan, it has to be investigated whether the protected species and habitats are effected by the planned investments and destroying these areas should be avoided or the areas have to be replaced. Besides these restrictions, they support the protection and research of the Natura 2000 areas and ecological agriculture. Similar to these initiatives are the agro ecology funds that can be called not only for Natura 2000 areas but also for the so-called agricultural areas of high nature value. (The largest part of Szeklerland is considered such an area).

Demeter László, Szentes Lajos

Useful information

Webiste of the village of Sâncrăieni (click)

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Útvonal térképe Csíkszeredából a Borsároshoz.



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