Lifelong Learning Programme

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Geographical Areas

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Regional Park of Kaunas Lagoon
Geography, Math, Chemistry, Biology, Physics
The bus stop "Railway Station"; the trip takes 8 minutes. Then, it is necessary to change the buses, i.e. to take the bus of 46 route, at the bus stop "Railway Station" and go till the bus stop "Ziegzdriai"; the trip takes 24 minutes. The distance from our school to the geological path is 25 kilometres. If it were possible to change the buses at the bus stop "Railway Station" immediately, the trip would last for 32 minutes.
Kaunas and its surroundings were surrounded not only by hillforts but by other fortifications as well. At Kaunas Reservoir, there are two objects of unique Eastern European monuments of fortification architecture and military history, i.e. the 5th fort which reminds tsarist Russia, two shelters of Vaisvydava and the remains of the Railway (Palemonas) fort of World War I with the chain of shelters. Also, World War I is reminded by the cemetery of German troops of 1914-1918 in Maisiejunai village.
The territory of Kaunas Reservoir Regional Park as well as the entire territory of Lithuania is characterized by vegetation of taiga and broad leaf forests and belongs to the western Palearctic zone. In the reserves of the park there are preserved unique and valuable plant communities such as juniper valley in Arlaviskes, pine ancient woods in Dabinta forest, and Dubrava ancient woods with a bog. The largest dendrological park of Lithuania, i.e. Girionys Dendrological Park, was started to be planted in 1960. It is highly valued by natural approach; 360 rare introduced woody plants grow there.
The coasts, shoals and islands of Kaunas Reservoir are important hatching places for many water and swamp birds. Here can be found 25 species of rare and endangered birds registered in the Red List of Lithuania. This area is an important resting place for migrant water and swamp birds. The section of the River Nemunas which is situated below Kaunas hydroelectric power station is a wintering area for water birds. Important territories for preservation of birds are the territories of Natura 2000.
Park biotopes are suitable for habitats of all species of mammals encountered in Lithuania. There are detected 49 species of mammals, 8 of which are registered in the Red List of Lithuania and include bats, fat dormouse, mountain hare, and otter. Also, 34 species of fish are encountered in Kaunas Reservoir.
Territories that are important for habitat preservation and birds preservation are protected in Kaunas Reservoir Regional Park.)
Kaunas Reservoir is the largest artificial lake in Lithuania. Kaunas hydroelectric power station was started to build in 1955, and in 1959 Kaunas Reservoir was formed by damming the Nemunas River. The water of the river rose by 19,5 metre within the period of 9 months; 45 settlements were moved from the territory flooded by the reservoir. The reservoir occupied 0,1 percent of the total territory of Lithuania (i.e. 63,5 square kilometres), approximately 20 villages. When preparing the bottom of the future reservoir, forests and gardens that were growing in the valley were cut down, wells of the homesteads were heaped up with soil, and cemeteries of the villages were moved away.
In 2000, Kruonis Pumped Storage Plant was set up on the coastline of the reservoir (water level is 109,5 metres above the level of Kaunas Reservoir). In summer, water level ranges by 1,5 metre, it lowers by approximately 4 metres before spring flooding. Kaunas Reservoir detains ice carrying in spring and protects Kaunas City from flooding.
Human activity. Kaunas Reservoir is not equipped with fish passes, fish migration to spawning places has been stopped; due to fluctation in water levels, coast erosion occurs, sludge is being set in motion. Surroundings of Kaunas Reservoir are extremely popular with tourists. There are established resorts alongside the coastline of the reservoir, also a Yacht Club operates here. Due to this, forest and water pollution and the number of self-willed resorts are increasing, life of birds and animals is being disturbed. In summer, water contamination with bacteria at the beaches of Kaunas Reservoir exceeds standards. Also, the cases of poaching occur here.


Kaunas Reservoir It is a man-made body of water. Yet before damming the reservoir, in the conducted explorations the future shores of the reservoir were recognized as its most variable element. Flooding the valley in a new level (44 m) resulted in forming of large and medium-sized bays, several hundreds of small bays and coves intervening into the shores. Since the very beginning, there started a natural lithodynamic process. The slopes were mouldering and shrinking, and pretty soon the bays of any size were covered with sediments. The shores and coastal zones of Kaunas Reservoir are not stable, they constantly change. A natural community formed in Kaunas Reservoir and on its shores.
Landslides and erosions The processes forming the slopes of Kaunas Reservoir. A cave formed by landslide and erosion. In the middle of the slope, the height of which is over 21 m, there may be seen the hillside recently transformed by the landslide, erosion and abrasive processes. The caves are being formed by water streams or other geological processes. This cave is flat-bottomed, flared, and formed by a landslide.
Suffosic cirques On the track of Žiegždriai geological path, there is often faced with an interesting geological phenomenon, i.e. suffosion, which is perhaps most vividly seen in this area. Suffosion is a process of leaching of fine mineral particles and soluble substances when water is filtering in the column of rocks and sediments. When such carrying out of a material is associated with one spring source, suffosic cirques are forming; they are the hollows of semicircular, funnel- or amphitheatre-like forms. On the track of the geological path, they are like “suspended” on the upper part of the slope. The bottom of the suffosic cirques lays 5-8 m below the top of the slope, i.e. at the level of the springs of ground water sources. The diameter of suffosic cirques may be up to 50 – 75 m. Some of suffosic cirques formed long ago; their bottoms are dry and overgrown with the hundred-year-old trees.
Žiegždriai geological path Žiegždriai geological path, which length is 1.6 km, starts at the old village of Kalniškiai. It leads through the landslide of varved clays, the outcrop of Žiegždriai, two linden trees, one of which has eight trunks and the other is the thickest one on the right shore of Kaunas Reservoir, the slope reformed by the landslide, the spring, suffosic cirques and the conglomerates outcrop of Kalniškiai. The most picturesque places are equipped with recreation areas with viewing sites. Conglomerates outcrop of Kalniškiai with yawning cavities and domes where there can be detected stiff rudiments of stalactites. It is the only place in Lithuania where these works of nature may be seen.
Dubrava’s reservation urotshistshe It was established in 1968 as a protected area, and for this reason there has been growing a forest inviolable by human activity for almost fifty years; mature pine forests and other valuable plant communities are protected here. Any economic activity or the use of natural resources are prohibited in the territory of Dubrava’s reservation urotshistshe, thus the trip in this forest is a real adventure full of wildlife beauty. When visiting here, one will definitely have a lot of new experierence and impressions, and the most importantly they will have a possibility to be introduced to the unique natural world.
Windfallen and dried trees Uproot and decay dried trees lie in piles. Some of them are still erect, firmly clinging to the ground with their roots but already bare as are dead. Windfallen and dried trees in the reservation form an integral part of the ecosystem which is essentially important for the development of beneficial forest insects and maintenance of biodiversity of forest communities.
The thickest pine The height of the pine is 31.1 m, and its diameter is almost 1 m. The trees of such kind show that the forest is mature. The height of the pine and its age will be evaluated during the lesson.
Biodiversity 86 species of water and wetland birds are recorded here. Also, there may be found 25 species of rare and endangered birds recorded into the Red List of Lithuania in the territory of this artificial water body. The largest artificial water body of Lithuania is an important resting area for water and wetland birds. In the territory of Kaunas Reservoir, there are constantly observed one of the largest flocks in the waters of Lithuania of migrating Mute Swans (Cygnus olor), Tufted Ducks (Aythya fuligula), Common Goldeneyes (Bucefala clangula) and Eurasian Coots (Fulica atra). In the period of 1994 – 1999, there were recorded up to 380 of Mute Swans, 1900 of Tufted Ducks, 400 of Common Goldeneyes, and 700 of Eurasian Coots as well as up to 1500 of Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), 600 of Wigeons (Anas penelope), 300 of Common Teals (Anas crecca), and 500 of Pochards (Aythya farina). The photos show a Mute Swan and a Marsh Frog.


Banded clay stones

The outcrop of Žiegždriai is a rare area in Lithuania where there may be found the entire section of banded sediments formed in the proglacial lagoon at the end of the ice age. Here, a part of sediments is formed by very characteristic banded clay stones. In the outcrop of Žiegždriai, there were distinguished three series of banded sediments; their total thickness is up to 8.4 m and they include 232 annual layers, each of which consists of 2 smaller layers, i.e. of winter and summer periods. Here, at the very edge of the outcrop of Žiegždriai, at the spring, it is possible to view and touch the claystone landslide and calculate its age.


Dubrava’s reservation urotshistshe is an area of the beauty of extraordinary nature. There is a woodden path in the mire and it is a very beautiful part of the path. The students were introduced to the ecosystem of the mire, i.e. to flora, fauna, and soil.

Seasonal change of communities

The students were introduced to the seasonal change of the communities (succession), the layers of the forest, and biodiversity of the park; they also studied ephemeral plants and mushrooms that grow in spring.