Project objective

The riparian forest of Nestos Delta, also known as the Great Forest (Kotza Orman in the Turkish language), at the beginning of 20th century extended along 27 km of the river, varying from 3-7 km in width, and was one of the largest riparian forests in the Mediterranean. It is estimated that during the 1920’s the forest covered an area of around 12,000 ha. After the 1930’s intense demand for agricultural land led to the clearance of most of the forest. At the beginning of the 1950's the forest was covering 7,200 ha. During the same decade the forest was further cleared, the river was realigned and dykes were constructed on each bank to prevent flooding.
Part of the forest was handed over to the Forestry Service to grow poplars; the rest was given to private farmers. Today in the forest estate some 800 ha of natural forest grow of which only 150 ha are relicts of the ancient forest.

The project’s overall objectives were:
(a) to restore the natural vegetation and
(b) to interpret the riparian forest’s values for the purpose of promoting sustainable tourism.