Our Association was established in May, 2003 in Eger with the collaboration of professionals and enthusiastic youth committed to geological nature conservation and landscape protection. However, the basics of our association were formed earlier, already in the Autumn of 1999 within the frames of the Heves County Trilobite Group of Our Geological Heritage Conservationist Association.
During the establishment the primary objectives were the protection of the Hive-stones, their exemption from invasive species, their rehabilitation and presentation, thus to preserve these unique and special forms of rock formations of the Bükkalja region for the future generations. Since then our scope of activity has been significantly extended. Nowadays, we organize educational lectures and courses in several scientific topics; furthermore we also deal with education, environmentally conscious tutoring and with the implementation of cultural content-based leisure programs.
Currently we have 200 registered members and volunteers, and thankfully for the years-long cooperation with the Károly Eszterházy University many students spend their obligatory professional internship at the Association.
Our results, our acknowledgments
Our association achieved the first place on the national level of the competition for the Council of Europe Landscape Award announced by the National Coordination Committee of the European Landscape Convention in 2010, by which we have won the right to represent our country in the competition for the Landscape Award of the Council of Europe in 2011.
According to the judgement, our association’s activities for the preservation and sustainable utilization of the outstanding natural and cultural heritage of the countryside can serve as an example for Hungary and for other civil society organizations in Europe. Our represented program is about the preservation and sustainable utilization of the outstanding natural and cultural heritage of the countryside. The outstanding value of the application is a wide palette of activities ranging from value protection to tourism development, extensive local cooperation, and the practical nature conservation activities that bring serious results.
With the help of the experts of our association, from the beginning of 2011 we assessed and documented the natural state of protected natural values of local importance in the settlements of Heves County, and the comparison of the existing legal status of protection with the current legal environment. As the continuation of the program, we aimed to promote the protection and preservation of local protected areas through increasing the awareness about these local protected areas and thus increasing their role in life of the local people, so that for the local communities biodiversity can be the meanings of maintaining the countryside values and a better quality of life, but can also contribute to the development of environmentally conscious approaches and the introduction of green tourism through their proper presentation and management. As recognition of our work in this direction, we were awarded with the István Telekessy Prize that was created by Heves County Council in 2012, in order to recognize the work of individuals and organizations that are outstanding in the field of land and rural development in Heves County.
In 2010, our Association prepared the basic professional material (field researches, documentation) in order to initiate the country-wide protection of the hive-stones, in which we could also take an active role. As the result of our work, the Hungarian hive-stones became a protected natural heritage announced in the 17/2014. (X. 27.) decree of the Minister of the Agriculture put in force on the 4th of November, 2014.
In 2016, we launched our proposal for the “Hive-stones and the Stone Culture of Bükkalja” on the road to the top of the Hungaricum pyramid. First we submitted our recommendation for inclusion into the Sectoral Depository in the category of natural environment, then, after the positive judgement we stepped a level and aimed the Hungarian Depository. Our recommendation won again the likely of the Evaluation Committee thus it became an outstanding national value. Finally, the Hungaricum Committee accepted our proposal on the 17th of June, 2016, so the “Hive-stones and the Stone Culture of Bükkalja” was included to the Hungaricum Collection.
The submitted proposal can be seen here.
In 2014, the EEA/Norway NGO Fund supported our “Wide spread familiarization with the problem of light pollution, and preparation of Starry Sky Park nomination package for the Bükk National Park” titled project. The objectives of the project were to raise awareness of the light pollution that affects both the wildlife and also us – as a form of environmental pollution – and to make people more receptive to the sights of the sky, and draw attention to the necessity and importance of preserving the dark sky. In this respect, we measured the level of light pollution of the Bükk National Park, held astronomical presentations and educational lectures, replaced some luminaires causing light pollution, then from the collected data and information, we prepared a nomination documentation for the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). As a result of the decision on the 6th of June, 2016 of IDA, the Bükk National Park was announced as a silver-ranked “Starry Sky Park” thus in our country the third protected area has got this prestigious recognition beside the Hortobágy National Park and Zselic National Landscape Preservation Area.