Highlights

  • River hydrology - Ox-bow lakes and meanders
  • The impact of annual flooding on physical and human geography
  • A unique wet-land economy
  • Rare flora and fauna adapted to niche ecosystems
  • Subsistence agriculture and sustainable local economies
  • Managing conflicting demands of tourism and sustainability

Lonjsko Polje, adjoining the river Sava in inland Croatia, is the largest floodplain ecosystem of the Danube Basin.  The heavy and unpredictable annual flooding of the region has shaped all aspects of human habitation for millennia.   Nowhere else can you witness the kind of cultural life and heritage that, until the end of the 19th century, was still typical of many parts of Central Europe; a rare example of people and nature working in harmony.

Students can witness the many ways in which the wetlands, humans and nature are symbiotically connected: for example. multi-storied riparian oak houses built to accommodate rapid flooding: storks which nest on the roofs and rely on farmers to plough up frogs and snakes for food. 

The flora and fauna are adapted to the very specific conditions of the wetlands:  Turopolje pigs that swim and dive for clams and the spatula-hooved Posavina horse, long believed to be extinct, survives nowhere else in the world. Oaks are adapted to grow in water.

The itinerary can include a day of hands-on experience of “Living Off the Land” subsistence farming and can be linked to either a coastal or mountain landscape programme .