Tuesday, 26 April 2011

National Nature Park “Sviati Hory”


On 28th of December 2010, the Ukraine Post has issued the block sheet of stamp featured the National Nature Park “Sviati Hory” comprised of 4 different face value stamps that depicted the species Thais Polyxena Zerynthia polyxena– 1,00 UAH, Bluebird Lusсinia svecica– 1,50 UAH,True Otter Lutra lutra– 1,50 UAH and Pond Turtle Emys orbicularis– 2,00 UAH.

There are 17 national parks in Ukraine. One of them, Holy Mountains or Sviati Hory , with a total area of 40,448 ha, is located in the Krasnolymansk and Slovyansk districts of Donetsk oblast. It features hill-slope landscapes in the northern Donetsk steppe area with such rare ecotopes as cretaceous layers on the bedrock banks of the Siversky Dinets River, which are covered with ancient Scotch Pine trees.

The rich history of this area dates back to the times of The Tale of Ihor’s Campaign. According to various accounts, Prince Ihor of Novhorod-Siversk hid in these places (to be more exact, in the Holy Mountains Monastery) after saving it from the Polovtsians. The park’s natural surroundings are picturesque and inimitable. More than one-third of the phytocenotic variety of southeastern Ukraine’s vegetation is concentrated in this park. The park consists of 91 percent forest, 1.5 percent meadows, and 2.5 percent swamps. The forests mostly feature mixed oak-pine vegetation or consist entirely of ordinary pine trees (45 percent of the park’s total forest area).

The park also has a 300-ha oak grove, the only one of its kind in Left-Bank Ukraine. No less rich is the national park’s fauna. In the springtime at night and sometimes during the day, if you approach any swamp, lake, or even water-flooded gutter, you will hear the lullabies or trumpet-like cries (judge for yourselves) of European fire-bellied toads, also found in water springs and wells. The park is also home to the European pond turtle.

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