Akrotiri marsh (also known as Fassouri marsh/reedbed) is a unique natural wetland in Cyprus covering an area of 150 hectares. It is part of the of the Akrotiri wetland complex, the largest natural wetland complex of the island. A visit to Akrotiri marsh is an excellent choice for those who wish to experience nature.
The marsh is a Ramsar site, an Important Bird Area (IBA) and a Special Protection Area (SPA), equivalent to the EU designation, according to the mirror law (26/2007) in the Cyprus Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs).
The site had been largely unmanaged for the last 20 years resulting in overexpansion of reeds and consequent loss of bird and plant diversity. An ecosystem-based conservation project in combination with public engagement actions started in April 2015 to restore the area and its biodiversity.
The 2-year project (April 2015 to March 2017) with the title ‘Akrotiri Marsh Restoration: a flagship wetland in the Cyprus SBAs’ is funded by the Darwin Initiative through UK Government funding (Darwin Plus, the Overseas Territories Environment and Climate Fund).
The project is implemented with BirdLife Cyprus as a lead partner and in collaboration with the Akrotiri Environmental Education Centre and the RSPB (BirdLife partner in the UK).Read more
The works for the erection of fence and cattle sheds at Akrotiri Marsh that started in early May are still ongoing and are expected to finish in early September.
The fencing, is being been erected along the north side of the marsh and is adjacent to the road of the site. The purpose of the fence is to keep cattle within the fenced area but untethered while so far the cattle had been grazing tethered. This change in current grazing regime will allow cattle roam freely and graze in a more natural way with the aim of pushing back the reeds and creating suitable habitat for birds. The fence will also...
One of the oldest handicrafts, whose practice has been fading away in the last decades, is being promoted thanks to the Darwin project (www.akrotirimarsh.org) for the restoration of Akrotiri Marsh.
Soft basketry weaving used to provide substantial financial income to the residents of Akrotiri village. However, since basketry products have been replaced by other contemporary items in recent years, the traditional craft of basketry has declined. Nowadays, very few villagers practice basketry since it is no longer profitable. The plants that make up the raw material for basketry are confined mainly to Akrotiri Marsh and the constant need for raw material as well as their availability contribute to the conservation of the wetlands of Akrotiri, including Akrotiri Marsh...
The partners of the Darwin project are organising an event to inform the Akrotiri Community on the project actions and progress.
The event is taking place on Thursday, 17 December 2015, at 19:00 at the Akrotiri Environmental Education Centre.