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With the restoration of the Keretü Bog, the Ministry of Defence is helping to preserve the natural biodiversity of Nursipalu

14. October 2019 - 16:28
Keretü soo ääreala.
Keretü soo ääreala.

Next summer, the Ministry of Defence will begin the process of restoring the Keretü Bog, located within the Nursipalu Training Area. The bog is being restored to reduce the possible impact on protected species and the biodiverse environment resulting from the establishment of training conditions. The restoration area covers nearly 600 hectares, accounting for approximately one-fifth of the territory of the Nursipalu Training Area.

According to Minister of Defence Jüri Luik, it is important that a contribution be made to preserving natural biodiversity when developing national defence.

‘The majority of Estonia, the security of which we are ensuring by developing national defence, is covered by various types of natural sites. When it comes to organising military training we must pay particular attention to making sure that what we are training to protect is not damaged,’ noted Luik.

Maris Freudenthal, Head of Environment and Planning at the Ministry of Defence, noted that the project was completed in close cooperation with experts from RMK, who have extensive experience in restoring mire communities and repairing habitats, and has been coordinated with the Estonian Environmental Board.

According to Kaupo Kohv, Head of the Nature Protection Department at the State Forest Management Centre, the Keretü Bog is an important habitat for capercaillie and common cranes. ‘Without a doubt the restoration of the bog will help with improving the general state of biodiversity at the Nursipalu Training Area and the Keretü Nature Reserve,’ stated Kohv.

Kohv added that idea behind restoring the bog is relatively simple – it is necessary to restore the onetime natural water regime by closing ditches and building dams from soil taken from the site.

‘Preparations for restoring the Keretü Bog will begin this fall-winter, with restoration works set to begin next summer,’ stated Freudenthal.

The estimated total cost of the Keretü Bog restoration works is EUR 170,000.

In order to ensure the necessary training conditions – such as shooting ranges, a target area, and network of roads – for the Nursipalu Training Area, preparation of building design documentation and the assessment of environmental impact began in 2016.

The preparers of the work introduced the completed project to all interested parties on 27 May, at the Nursipalu Visitor Centre.

Photos: Peripheral area around the Keretü Bog.

Additional information: press[at]kaitseministeerium[dot]ee