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Nature Park Hutovo blato

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hutovo blato

Natural features of the Hutovo Blato nature park and the peculiarities of this unique area deserve the full attention of our visitors. Recreational visits and admiration of the beautiful scenery, whose natural diversity and harmony of forms and colors are breathtaking at any time of the year, as well as the variety of flora and fauna inhabiting the endless swamps, are inviting you to come and visit us!

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Hutovo Blato is situated in the south Herzegovina, in a primarily karst ambiance, on the left side of river Neretva, featuring a unique sub Mediterranean swamp in Europe. Since the ancient times, this place is known as the green oasis, with an abundance of water that provides inhabitation conditions for a large number of plants and animals. The swamp is interesting and important also from ornithological, ichthyologic, scientific, environmental and tourist point of view.

Hutovo Blato is considered to be one of the largest bird winter ports in Europe. The area covers the territories of Čapljina and Stolac and incorporates terrain consisting of swamps, plains and hills, with altitude ranging between 1 and 432 meters above sea level.

This area is located around fifteen kilometers from the Adriatic Sea and is under a strong influence of the Mediterranean climate. Because of exceptional importance and beauty, Hutovo Blato was inaugurated as the Nature Park in 1995. Flowing into valleys and depressions, lost rivers and surface water currents form a large number of lakes, gorges, and river Krupa and ensure a high level of underground water. Such a high level of underground water causes the appearance of permanent and periodic wells and springs.
Lakes of Hutovo Blato represent true crypto depressions, because bottoms of some of them are below sea level (Jelim 18 m).
The largest lakes of Hutovo Blato are: Deransko, Jelim, Drijen, Orah, Škrka and Svitava.
Svitavsko lake is an artificial water accumulation, originating from construction of the Čapljina hydroelectric power station. All lakes in Hutovo Blato are interconnected with numerous canals and gorges.
River Krupa is the main water current of Hutovo Blato, which leads the waters from Gornje Blato and Svitavsko lake into river Neretva. Krupa does not have an actual spring, but is actually an arm of Deransko lake. The length of Krupa is 9 km with an average depth of 5 meters. This is a unique river in Europe, because the river flows both ways. It flows ‘normally’ from the ‘spring’ to the mouth and from the mouth to the ‘spring’. This happens when, due to high water level and large quantity of water, river Neretva pushes out the Krupa river.

Thanks to the vicinity and influence of the Adriatic Sea, abundance of water surrounded by karst and hilly terrain, the biological diversity of the Hutovo Blato vegetation is exceptionally valuable. There are only a few places in the world that harbor such a large number of species in such a small region.
The overall plant cover of the Nature Park can be split into four types of vegetation: water, swamp, meadow and forest.
Water areas of Hutovo Blato are covered mostly with laurustines (Nymphaea alba) and water lilies (Nuphar luteum). In addition, one finds thin leaved pondweed (Potamogeton sp.), buttercup (Ranunculus sp.), etc.
The largest part of the swamp area is overgrown by vast reed fields, dominated by: reed (Phragmites sp.), cattail (reed mace) (Typha sp.), yellow flags (Carex sp.) and rush (Juncus sp.).

Forestand meadow vegetation are represented through numerous typical species that completed the biological diversity of Hutovo Blato.

Significant species of these vegetation types are: European ash (Fraxinus sp.), oak (Quercus sp.), butcher’s broom (Ruscus sp.), pomegranate (Punica sp.), blueberry (Juniperus sp.), willow (Salix sp.), elm (Ulmus sp.), alder (Alnus sp.), blackberry (Rubus sp.), mulberry (Morus sp.), nettle (Lamium sp.), clover (Trifolium sp.). Some floral communities are present only in some areas, while other are widespread and cover large surfaces.

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