science 18.9.2016 9:00

Vegetation to act as wind barrier in Vipava Valley

Ajdovščina, 18 September - Strong bora winds pushing through the Vipava valley are causing tremendous damage to agriculture, as the wind is destroying crops and causing soil erosion. The Ajdovščina municipality has therefore joined forces with five institutions to fight the negative effects of bora in a natural way, with vegetation.

Nanos
The Vipava Valley
Photo: Aljoša Rehar/STA

As part of an EU-funded project, zones of vegetation will be created in the next five years to function as a shield against the strong winds in the area.

"The Ajdovščina municipality will carry out the pilot project and in the end we will also benefit from the results," said Janez Furlan, who is in charge of economy and development at the municipality.

To realise the project, the municipality has teamed up with Development Agency ROD Ajdovščina, which coordinates the project, the national Institute for Waters, the Ljubljana Biotechnical Faculty and the companies Hidrotehnik and BO-MO.

They have successfully applied for EU funds as part of the financial instrument LIFE, which supports environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects throughout the bloc.

Farming is one of the most important activities in the Vipava Valley and fighting the negative effects of bora with vegetation had already been considered in the past. In some areas, the vegetation had been planted but then later removed.

"We really want our local environment to truly benefit from the project," Brigita Šolfa of ROD said.

The protective vegetation zones could in the future also be used in other areas, including in traffic, where strong gusts of wind are often causing difficulties.

The value of the five-year project dubbed "Adapting to the impacts of climate change in the Vipava Valley" is estimated at some EUR 869,000, of which the European Commission is to finance 60%, while the Environment Ministry is to chip in another EUR 173,500.