The region of Białystok is situated in Eastern Poland at the border with Belarus and Lithuania. The region is notable for its unique areas covering large marshy river valleys, flooded forests and preserved old-growth forests. The Biebrza National Park (Polish: Biebrzański Park Narodowy), the Narew National Park (Polish: Narwiański Park Narodowy) and the Białowieża National Park (Polish: Białowieski Park Narodowy) are attributed to the sites of significance for nature conservation. In the Biebrza and Narew National Parks, the sites of significance for conservation of ecosystems are marshes and wetlands, and in the Białowieża National Park - the ecosystems of natural forests. The Project area covers solely sites of the Biebrza river valley, thus, the information refers mainly to the Biebrza National Park.
The Biebrza National Park, 59,223 ha, was founded in 1993. Out of the total park area, marshlands cover 25,494 ha, forests – 15,547 ha, fields and meadows – 18,182 ha. It is the largest marsh complex in the Central and Western Europe. Fens are dominated by sedges, transition mires and raised bogs cover big territories. Reeds grow on large areas. Spruce, birch and black alder forests prevail in the river valley. Only in the so-called Tsar Road segment dry pine forests spread around. In 1995, the Biebrza National Park was included into the List of Ramsar Convention - designated as a site of worldwide significance for waterfowl and waders.
The Red Marsh, a part of the Biebrza National Park, was designated as a site of significance, primarily to preserve the population of moose. It covers the marsh complex, 11,630 ha, which is under strict protection. Here raised bog prevails, smaller areas are occupied by fens and transition mires.
Flooded meadows in Biebrza river valley.