Kemeri National Park
Kemeri National Park is located by the Gulf of Riga, not more than 30 kilometres from the Latvian capital, Riga. More than a half of the park area is covered by diverse forest ecosystems that range from old pine stands on dry sandy soils, to floodplain forests dominated by black alders. The latter is home to the White-backed Woodpecker, the Kemeri National Park symbol.
Within Kemeri National Park (KNP) there are also many different – and quite unique! - wetland areas, such as sulphur springs, bogs, fens, mires, shallow coastal lakes. And of course, there are the rivers and coastal waters of the Gulf of Riga. Kemeru tirelis, the park’s largest raised bog, is located right in the heart of the national park and covers 50 km2.
Both the bogs and shallow lakes in KNP are important nesting sites for numerous waterfowl species and, every year, thousands of migrating geese and ducks make stopovers here. Thus, these wetlands are of international importance to bird biodiversity.
Within KNP there are also several large meadow tracts that are important breeding grounds for the internationally endangered corncrake.
Management and restoration
In 2005 KNP undertook the River Slampe restoration project within the EU LIFE-Nature framework. Today the river, that was straightened to straight and deep channel during the Soviet times, has regained its original weaving shape. Numerous animals that depend on water related-habitats and feeding sites will benefit, as the vegetation of the river and its banks returns within the next few year. The blocked melioration ditches will become a perfect spawning site for amphibians and other water-living creatures. In spring, as the river overflows and floods the meadows, many migrating and local breeding bird species will gather here. In summer, corncrakes and other floodplain bird species will nest in the lush meadows. Black storks will fish in the river.
Kemeri National Park offers its visitors a range of activities all year round. There is ample opportunity to learn more about the natural environment.
Nature trails: Two nature trails and three bird watching towers are open every day, all year round. They are very interesting and informative for anyone who wants to learn more about different types of forests, floodplains, meadows, and the park’s great variety of birds.
Bicycle routes: There are 4 marked bicycle routes in Kemeri National Park. Each one of them offers a different level of difficulty. Bicycles are available for rent.
Events: Each year the Kemeri National Park Administration organizes a number of events to bring people closer to nature. For example, all visitors are invited to enjoy our spring and autumn birdwatching days. There are also bat nights and many other events. Welcome!
Kemeri National Park in brief
Established in 1997
Area 380 km2
For more information please visit the Latvian Nature Conservation Agency website.