Podlasie Bug Gorge Landscape Park
Podlasie Bug Gorge Landscape Park covers several dozen kilometers long section of the Bug valley adjacent to the border with Belarus. The biggest landscape value of the Park is the ravine valley of the river, winding among moraine hills reaching several dozen meters in relative height. The unregulated, strongly meandering Bug crosses the belt of moraine hills formed during the Central Polish glaciation. The river valley itself is not homogeneous. In some places it is wide, with numerous oxbow lakes, wetlands and ponds, and in places it narrows and cuts deep into the surrounding uplands, creating slopes several dozen meters high. The river valley is diverse, in places it is wide, with numerous oxbow lakes and tributaries, but there are places where the Bug narrows, cutting into the surrounding uplands, creating high slopes. The Bug River in its gorge is winding, at times high and steep, at other times gently sloping and sandy, or marshy and inaccessible. Another element diversifying the landscape are the valleys of the larger tributaries of the Bug which cut across the uplands. Within the Park, the following flows into the Bug: Krzna, Czyżówka, Sarenka, Toczna, Kołodziejka and Czapelka.
The Bug River is the axis of the park and the most important hydrographic element of this area. In the winding riverbed, we meet deep pits, sandy shoals, islands, and in the vicinity of the river oxbow lakes, which most often take the shape of a sickle. The largest of them are Buzysko near Stary Bubel, Duży Purwa near Borsuk and Trojan near Mierzwice. Natural erosive processes take place in the river bed, which consist in washing out the banks on the concave bends and the application of material on the convex bends. The left-bank tributaries of the Bug within the park are: Krzna, Czyżówka, Sarenka and Toczna. Stagnant waters include numerous oxbow lakes, small mid-field and mid-forest ponds as well as retention lagoons on the Krzywula River near Janów Podlaski and fish ponds in Cieleśnica.
There are seven nature reserves in the Park: forest (“Łęg Dębowy”, “Zabuże”, “Stary Las”), fauna (“Kózki”, “Czapli Stóg”), landscape (“Podlasie Switzerland”) and floristic (“Mierzwice”) Moreover, about 120 natural monuments have been established – these are mainly large trees or their clusters (most often English oaks). We also have several large boulders, they are an example of inanimate nature monuments, and the most famous of them is the Stone Baba (or the Penitential Cross), located on a hill near the village of Neple. In addition, in the Sarnaki forest district, in the vicinity of the Mierzwice reserve, there is a documentation site called “Głazowisko” and it covers an area of over 5 ha, with about 100 erratic boulders in groups or individually. 30 ecological areas have been established in the Park. In such a valuable natural area, the areas of the Natura 2000 network could not be missing: OSOP “Dolina Dolnego Bugu” and SOOS “Ostoja Nadbużańska”.