Drought is a phenomenon we are facing with increasing frequency. Prolonged periods without precipitation, a warming climate and water management that has been neglected for years are considered its causes. This is why it is so important to strengthen the resilience of forest ecosystems. For years, foresters across Poland have been trying to catch water by implementing small retention projects. These are treatments that combine environmentally friendly natural and technical methods. The project was implemented between 2016 and 2022, but the construction of the equipment itself took about a year. At that time, as part of the measure in the Oborniki Forest District, we built 73 structures, including 47 thresholds, 19 levees and 5 culverts with damming. In addition, we upgraded one tank and built another. If, walking in the woods, you notice structures made of wood or stone, don’t destroy them – that’s small retention.

By retaining water in the forest, we shape specific areas that we call wetlands. Peatlands or meadows on peat are good examples of this. Their specific design ensures that groundwater and surface water runoff is inhibited too quickly, so it can be stored like a sponge. Water from melting snow is retained in the swamp for longer, instead of flowing directly into the river. Among other things, this prevents watercourses from rising too rapidly in the spring. Thus, the larger the area covered by wetlands, the lower the danger of flooding and the greater the retention capacity of the area. The role of wetlands is very diverse. They are responsible for, among other things. for purifying water and sustaining it in the biosphere. Peatlands, in turn, store huge deposits of coal. They represent some of the most productive ecosystems in the world. That is why it is so important to protect and preserve these fragments of the landscape, both at the national and local levels. Protecting and restoring any wetlands should be an important link in minimizing the effects of climate change.

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