Public company “Palic – Ludas”, managing the protected area of the Special Nature Reserve (SNR) “Ludas Lake”, organizes reed cutting every winter, including this 2021/2022 season. The activity is implemented by including the local population interested in the protected areas reed utilization programme, in reed cutting of 10 – 15 hectares of SNR “Ludas Lake” area.
Reed cutting takes place in two types of habitats – reed beds, which are underwater all year round and can lose water just in case of major droughts in a short time, and habitats of wetlands and saline meadows, which are reed invaded. The primary goal of nature protection in the first type of habitat is sustainable use through biomass reduction as an active nature protection measure, and the secondary goal is economic viability. Years of continuous reed harvesting increase the vitality of reeds and their quality. In the second type of habitat – the primary goal is to control reeds and enhance the area of wetlands and saline meadows. In this case, the reed needs to be harvested several times a year (not only in the winter) and thus reduce the reed vitality. Moreover, revitalizing wet and saline meadows and grazing sites for the Podolian cattle and water buffaloes is a long-term sustainable way of maintaining habitats as a measure of active nature protection.
Reed cutting is an essential maintenance measure for the habitat of the Ludas Lake living world. Reed is cut in water and on land, thus actively managing habitats, or more precisely, creating favourable conditions for various organisms – invertebrates, fish, frogs, turtles, snakes, various species of water birds, and mammals.
The local population is interested in reed cutting. However, in addition to goodwill, the weather conditions also need to be appropriate – long-lasting frost, which would create sufficiently thick ice on the lake. The lake and the surrounding meadows were an integral part of the lives of the people who lived by the lake in the past. The best quality reed used to be harvested at Ludas Lake. People were using reeds for houses and other farm buildings until the fifties of the twentieth century. They were making house gables of reeds covered with clay, but also the less-solid walls and fences. They used bulrush leaves for carpet weaving. Nowadays, only the memory of that time remains. There are fewer or no people who traditionally cut the reed.