The on-line transmission from the flight

2017-10-17 16:16:35


The history of the Vistula in Warsaw area goes back several thousand years ago, when there was a big post-glacial loam reservoir. Novadays no one things about river in such categories.

The climate warming caused the retreat of ice, releasing the water flow. Currents appeared in the stagnant lake. Cyclical processes of stagnation and water flow – resulting in alternating sediment accumulation and erosion – shaped subsequent horizontal river-terraces in the valley of Vistula. Three higher levels of terraces have been formed during the final stages of the last glaciation, and the lowest floodplain came into being already in the Holocene epoch.

During periods of the intensive delivery of rubble to river-beds, in times of climate cooling or human impact (e.g, deforestation, extensive farming, especially of root crops, and heavy soil erosion, when the material is washed into the river), braided rivers form. The river of this type is characterized with dynamic changes of the water stand and transports abundant amount of sediments. The river-bed is shallower, unstable, and splits into many ramifying arms. Thus forms a wide flood plain, with numerous tress-like streams of the current. These phenomena manifest themselves through the formation of many sandbanks or and gravel shallows and islands further covered with alluvial soils. It is one of most characteristic forms of a pristine, naturally wild river.

A relict form of the natural braided river-bed is characteristic for present Middle Vistula River above and below Warsaw.

In the braided riverbed of Vistula you can differentiate two types of islands: the ephemeral, easily moving sandbanks and deeply rooted, motionless tufts. A characteristic feature of the latter type is permanent, multi-layered vegetation with many herbal species (long-lasting varieties), bushes and trees. The trees made those islands visible from afar, and raftsmen and riverbank settlers called them tufts.

Vistula is the last great river on the continent with preserved natural braided character of its river-bed, unique natural and scenic values.

Vistula is the last great river on the continent that kept its natural braided river-bed in an unchanged form, and hence it has unique natural and landscape characteristics. This uniqueness is present also in the Warsaw area of the river. Although the left bank became a civilised boulevard, the right bank was left in its natural form, covered with thick riparian forest. You can forget the buzz of the city there and simply enjoy the wilderness.

Owing to the efforts of the Year of Vistula River Foundation, Polish Parliament has decided that 2017 is the year of Vistula. The idea was welcome by the society and hundreds of organizations, which shows how much Poles respect and admire the so-called Queen of Polish Rivers for its aesthetic, natural, historic, social, economic and tourist values.

The commemorative celebration of the W Hour, the hour when the Warsaw Uprising started in 1944, takes place also on the river. In that very moment, the entire city comes to a halt: public transport, cars and people stay still for one minute to pay their respect to the heroes of the uprising.

The left bank of the river is a leisure area combined with well-preserved natural environment. Are there any other big cities where nature has been kept as it used to be to such an extent?

Sand alluvia on the entire width of a river are one of the marks of a braided river, natural and untamed.

The river and its islands are one of the ecological routes Natura 2000. The islands are home to many species of birds. In the picture you can see a few hundreds of cormorants.

Reserves of the darkness.

The problem of light pollution is a civilization problem especially acute in large cities and urbanized areas, for example in Warsaw. In Poland, the first reserves of darkness (for example the Park of the Dark Sky in the Izerskie Montains) came into existence. In urban enclaves such a role is played by Vistula river, parks and urban forests.



16:11 - Fat Kate