Visitor Centre showcases the treasures of Mátra’s flora and fauna

2023. 12. 13.

The Directorate of Bükk National Park, with the creation of a 260 square meter visitor, education, and management centre in Mátrafüred, aims to acquaint the widest possible audience with the flora and fauna of Mátra. The project was realized during the 2014–2020 European Union funding period, thanks to the resources available in the Environmental and Energy Efficiency Operational Programme.

Mátra, as part of the North Hungarian Mountains, spans 900 square kilometres, hosting a rich variety of plant and animal species.  Previously, the Directorate of Bükk National Park lacked a facility that adequately and comprehensively presented the diverse knowledge of this area, leading to the application for a visitor centre in the Environmental and Energy Efficiency Operational Programme (EEEOP). The Harkály Ház (Woodpecker House) visitor, education, and management centre in Mátrafüred, filling a gap, was realized between 2016 and 2021 with state and EU support. 

The institution’s primary task is to present the habitats and species belonging to the Natura 2000 nature conservation areas established by the European Union, disseminate knowledge, and showcase the tasks necessary for nature conservation maintenance, including the management of various habitats, to the broadest possible audience.  The woodpecker, being the area’s characteristic species, inspired the facility’s name (Harkály Ház – Woodpecker House).  The EEEOP project, named “Gateway to the Treasures of Mátra,” highlights the ecological significance of the plants and animals living there. 

The visitor, education, and management centre covers an area of about 260 square meters.  The exhibition space includes an interactive volcano model and terrain table, an interactive wall presenting Mátra’s wildlife and conservation status, a separate room for nocturnal and underground life, and perhaps the most striking element, a decaying tree trunk model.  This model draws attention to the importance of old trees, showing how many insects, amphibians, small mammals, and birds a decaying trunk can house. 

Around the walkable area, tablets on the “tree elements” provide details about different habitats and related species.  The centre also includes a mini-lab and a lecture hall, serving as a venue for camps and presentations.  Woodpecker House features a diorama, creative installations, multimedia tools, and touch screen terminals.  The facility’s energy supply is ensured by 102 solar panels, an energy-efficient and eco-friendly solution. 

Due to its proximity to Budapest, Mátra is a popular destination for nature-loving tourists and school trips.  Accordingly, the EEEOP project renovated and modernized the existing educational trail leading to Sár Hill and created the Cincér educational trail, starting from Harkály House to Sástó, Hungary’s highest lake.  The developments aim to not only arouse but also enhance general interest in the discovery and protection of natural values.

The program was implemented with European Union funding under the EEEOP-4.1.0-15-2016-00032 project.

More details can be found in the supported project search:Details



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