Formation of the Reserve

1960 Over 50 years ago the Iški Morost area was nothing but meadows. There were no overgrown areas, very few hedges, individual bushes and trees. Over the next few decades the area slowly began to overgrow as the use of the majority of meadows was abandoned, previously they had been mowed to provide bedding and fodder for horses.
1998 Conservation efforts of DOPPS-BirdLife Slovenia in this area started in the 90’s, when the members of the society began to remove scrub vegetation in the overgrown area of Vrbovski tali.

An aerial view of the Iški morost from 1964. Numerous meadows with a few small shrubs and the occasional rare hedge.

Iški morost in 2001, prior to the meadow restoration. The extensive areas of meadow are now overgrown with shrubs.
2004 The reserve started to get its present form, when the society began to run the three year LIFE Nature project »Establishing long-term protection of Crex crex in Slovenia« (2004–2007) and started to buy and ecologically restore land.

The project’s activities were directed mostly towards expanding the surface area and restoration of the overgrown meadows, promoting the area as well as testing types of management in relation to the conservation management guidelines for wet Željko Šalamun

Over 150 DOPPS-BirdLife Slovenia volunteers helped with the restoration of meadows and reserve management. Furthermore, we received help from local farmers, who assisted us with hay storage and lending the required Eva Vukelič
2006 We started to prepare the educational trail, which runs through the nature reserve today. We cleaned the thick shrub on the 1.5 km long section of the trail and prepared everything necessary to set up a central observatory and information boards. By doing this we wanted to show the typical habitats and how their existence depends on farming methods.
2007 In June of 2007 the area of 63.5 hectares officially opened to the public. The name Iški Morost was given to the new founded reserve by the locals of Ig and surrounding areas. In October 2008, the Iški morost was officially proclaimed as a nature reserve with the admission of Decree on the Ljubljana Marsh Nature Park (Official Gazette of RS, No. 12/08).

Corncrake’s educational path and the Iški Morost nature reserve were opened by the then current mayor of Ig municipality Janez Cimperman, the chief executive of the Mobitel company Klavdij Godnič and the director of DOPPS-BirdLife Slovenia Andrej Tomaž Jančar

The educational trail received numerous visitors and students already in the first year of its opening. The first tour guide course was held in the fall of 2008 with the purpose of producing local tour guides for the Corncrake’s educational path. It was attended by 12 people. Today, over 550 children attend the guided tours on the Nevenka Pfajfar
2008 In 2008, the Corncrake’s educational path and bird observatory received the prestigious award Zlati svinčnik (Golden pencil) in the category of Landscape design, awarded by the Chamber of Architecture and Spatial planning of Slovenia. The committee quoted that the basis for their decision was the exceptional quality of the landscape – architectural design and the responsible approach to the integration of new programs in the sensitive area.

The focal point of the educational trail is the wooden observatory, which shape symbolizes a nest. The observatory and the educational trail was designed by Tomaž Stupar and Dušan Stupar under the banner of Barbara Vidmar

The large panoramic board shows the varied world of fauna and flora of the Ljubljana Marsh wet meadows. photo: Željko Šalamun
2010 In the years following the restoration work, the areas with wet meadows notably flourished. The number of singing male Corncrakes, endangered grassland bird, that have not been noted in this area since 1999, was increasing steadily.

During the bird count in 2013 in Iški morost we noted 12 calling male Corncrakes, endangered grassland breeding birds. More than 10 percent of residing Corncrakes nests in less than 1 percent of the Ljubljana marshes area.
photo: Peter Buchner
2013 The society cooperated with the Ljubljana Marsh Nature Park and extended the Corncrake’s educational path, which as a result has become circular. We placed new information boards, equipped the new part of the trail and produced a booklet that guides you along the educational trail.