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Narvia is localised at North-East Poland-Lithuania region. There is Narew (Narev en.) river basin. Narvia is a beautiful nature district. A lot of birds, and wild animals, the huge swamps and multiculturalism are magnet for visitors looking for active tourism and adventures.
The most important value of the Narew National Park is its unique river system, a network of interconnected channels which flow throughout this area. The Narew valley is also an important water reservoir and marsh birds find here a place to rest during their migrations.
The River system
The Narew River is the largest north-eastern Polish river with a total length of 484 km, of which 36 km are on the Belarusian side. Its source is in the Belarusian side of the Bialowieza Forest. The main tributaries are the Supraśl, the Biebrza and the Pisa (through its right side) and the Bug (through its left side). Within the limits of the Narew National Park flow few of its watercourses. the: Liza, Szeroka Struga, Kowalówka, Awissa, Turośnianka, Czaplinianka i Kurówka.
The Park protects a section of 45 kilometers long which covers the valley between the city of Suraż and Rzędziany village. Its most important feature is the unique natural character of the river. This unusual multichannel river system is called “anastomosing “.
This anastomosing river system is characterized by a dense network of channels with different width and length, which alternately join and disconnect, forming a very complicated maze. This system is clearly different from any other rivers, mainly due to its channels construction and due to the stability of its banks. The Narew channels have a fairly flat bottom and a significant depth at the edge of their banks, normally protected against erosion by a dense root system of plants. Characteristic is also their considerable depth in relation to the width, sometimes channels in some places can have 2 meters width and may have 2-2.5 meters depth.
This multichannel river system allows the combination of several factors, being the most important one repeated, regular and prolonged flood of the valley, which occurs at least once a year, usually in spring associated with the snow melting period. Often, however, there are also floods in summer, mainly in June or July as a result of significant rainfall, the channels already with overgrown vegetation are not able to maintain the increased amount of water. The overflow of water through the channels banks can as well be due to the accumulation of ice (spring) and plants (summer). These accumulations cause the retention of water in a certain place of the riverbed so the water flow into the banks.
In the area of Narew National Park exists 11 water plant communities (macrophytes) and 56 terrestrial plant communities, including wetlands and marshes. Rushes, reeds, sedges, wet meadows and willow patches dominate the open areas.
Forest areas are few, mostly of alder or of planted pines. In the mineral hills develop semi natural dry grasslands and hornbeam communities.
The Narew valley is characterized by the so-called ecological zoning, consisting in the variability of plant communities from the river towards the edge of the valley.
Aquatic ecosystems are characterized by a high diversity of plant (macrophytes) species . The richest habitats are the oxbow lakes, sometimes during the year they can be cut or connected to the mainstream, there it’s possible to find communities of water lilies, frogbits or water soldiers.
The banks or the areas between the channels are overgrown with reeds. It is a poor high flower community mainly dominated by the common reed. It is also possible to find there bulrushes, lesser bulrushes, sweet grass reeds, canary grass reeds, sweet flags and yellow iris. The neighbour areas of the reed communities or directly adjacent to the river bed are covered with sedge communities. The most typical are the acute and tufted sedge which create a distinct tussocks structure.
An important element of the landscape of the Park are willow thickets which occur in small patches on the banks of the river channels, among the rushes and on the reed swamp meadows.
Very typical of the Narew Valley are the wet meadows, where different species of grasses and herbaceous plants grow, such as the cuckoo flowers, ragged robins, meadow buttercups, purple loosestrifes forming wonderful colourful carpets when flowering.
The meadows are mowed twice a year. On the outskirts of the valley grow marshy forests, with their typical structure clusters of alder grove representing the Narew National Park forests. Here you can clearly distinguish the elevation above the ground – between the tussocks and the depressions among them, often flooded with water.
On the Narew National Park area, mineral elevations are present and covered with deciduous forests (linden – oak – hornbeam) and with semi natural dry grasslands. The Flora of the Park is represented by more than 660 vascular plants species from 89 families. The most numerous are the flowering plants represented by 72 species and grasses by 68 species.
World of War fortifications …
This Narvia district have a lot of stories about 1st and 2nd World of War, because there where a cross of Russian, Germans and Polish borders.