Narew National Park
The Narew National Park was established in 1996 and covers an area of 7350 ha. It was established within the Narew Scenic Park, the rest of which (15380 ha) surrounds it. It is situated in the north Podlaska Lowlands in the upper Narew valley between the Suraz (119 meters) and Rzedziny (111 meters) hills where the river flows south.
Between morainic hills the river forms three big loops here with a whole network of side channels, old river beds and tributaries. This unusual landscape, full of canyons, pools curves, meandering streams and numerous flood plains, creates a unique scenery no longer familiar in Europe of a marshy river valley which is often called the “Polish Amazon”. The valley is full of peat moors (average depth 1 meter) with mineral platforms, the highest of which, Murawiniec, is 5,5 meters above marsh level.
The varied, mosaic arrangement of damp areas in this part of the Narwia valley has created conditions for the growth of over 50 plant assemblages, including 33 of water plants, 6 of marsh meadow plants and 7 of forest plants.
The vegetation of the park has so far been found to include over 200 plant varieties, of which 10 are legally protected. These include: a variety of Water-lily Nuphar pumilum. Siberium Iris Iris sibirica, Early marsh Orchid Dactylorhiza incarnata, Jone’s Flower Dianthus superbus, Jacob’s-ladder Polemonium coeruleum. Rare varieties include: Succisella inflexa, Mare’s Tail Hippuris vulgaris and others.
The animal world is represented by 33 varieties of mammal in the park, including: 260 Beavers Castor fiber, the Otter Lutra lutra, and the Elk Alces alces. This section of the Narew is particularly rich in birds. Over 200 species of birds have been noted here, including 154 nesting birds, which is 58% of the birds found in Poland. Of particular value are birds typical of marshy areas which are under threat in the whole Europe. These include: the Reedling Panurus biarmicus, the Widgeon Anas penelope, the Pintail Anas acuta, the Double Snipe Gallinago media, the Sandpiper Philomachus pugnax, the Spotted Crake Porzana porzana, the Little Crake Porzana parva, and the Reed Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola. Other animals include: 25 varieties of fish, 13 amphibians and 6 reptiles. Invertebrates include: 43 butterflies and 24 dragon flies.