We live next door to the 103 hectares of Park Młociński, which dominates the northern boundary of our estate. From our front door it takes all of 2 minutes walk to get into the park and yet, like all things that are too close, we take it for granted and don’t visit as often as we should. However, as Saturday was such a nice day, Zosia and I ventured out.
The link above gives a lot of useful information about the park and the area. I didn’t know for example that Młociny was originally called Młoszcziny and comes from a group of words related to marshes and wet meadowlands, nor that Młociny became part of Warsaw in 1526. The first public transport, horse omnibus, reached here in 1822. Early history is of an aristocratic playground with King Augustus III often visited to hunt and enjoy the various menageries that toffs had erected in their gardens. Toffs like Henry Bruhl who Augustus III had pretty much delegated most of his powers and authorities to, which allowed him to save up enough wonga or favours to build the palace that dominates our southern boundary.
On this bank of the Wisła there’s nothing but nature between us and the northern border of Warsaw, where Bielany meets Łomianki, in fact although this is a park in a city it is the opposite of most such examples. It is usually the park that interrupts the urban jungle whereas it is our housing that is disturbing the otherwise entirely natural surroundings, which is why we often the see the many wild animals that inhabit the area and the adjoining wider area of Kampinos National Park wandering past our windows. We’re not supposed to be here!
Park Młociński has various forms of protection:
- It lies within the jurisdiction of Kampinos National Park,
- It is within the Warsaw Area of Protected Landscape,
- The Warsaw Escarpment, next to the Wisła, is protected against violation of the natural terrain, vegetation or in other ways damaging the ecosystem.
In simple terms the park has three ‘zones’. At the end nearest us there are open meadows, one of which is used for family picnics and barbecues and other is protected. Behind that there is the bulk of the park with a large looping pathway (shown in the picture above). The inside of the loop is dense forest with wildlife and outside the path are the border areas to the river in the east or westwards to the road.
The forested sections are unusually dense. The average for Poland is 250 m3 of timber per hectare, this park has around 720 m3/ha. Trees are varied but primarily Pine, Oak, Alder, Ash, Willow, Linden, Hornbeam, Birch, Elm, Spruce & Lime.
Amongst the wildlife you can find mammals such as Wild Boar, Deer, Elk, Foxes, Martens, Hares, Moles, Beavers, Polecats, Hedgehogs, Bats, Shrews, Weasels and Squirrels alongside several species of amphibians Spadefoot, common Toad and Moor Frog and reptiles like Slow Worm and Grass Snake. There are also many birds such as Cuckoos, Ravens, Buzzards, Sparrow Hawks, Woodpeckers, Flycatchers, Golden Orioles, Nightingales, Thrushes, Jays, Finches and Nuthatches as well as water birds – Reed and Marsh Warbler.
The park has recently had a “short back & sides” (haircut) with a small army of workers chopping trees and strimming the nettles and undergrowth. One pile of logs we found on our walk was marked with a red band and also had a small plastic yellow label attached “02185 JY”, wonder what that means? I like the way they look after trees in Poland.