The course is aiming at description of the natural and man-made processes leading to the creation and functioning of the certain type of wetland ecosystems with the focus on the role of the water management in preservation and/or restoration of the wetland ecosystems. Special attention will be paid to the interaction between soil, water and vegetation entailing its impact on the avifauna. The course gives an overview of all main types of the Central and Western European fen and marsh ecosystems, explains the main hydrological processes important for wetland creation such as floodplain inundation, groundwater seepage, role of the evapotranspiration, water storage in organic soils and presents the impact of hydrological processes on peat forming process and vegetation. The role of wetland water management in improving coexistence of man and nature will be presented, with focus on the place of wetlands in the Ecohydrology Concept of enhancing the absorbing capacity of ecosystems. Our teaching method uses the principle "description follows the experience": the participants will at first explore the wetlands in every-day excursions and have lectures on related topics in the second part of the course. Participants will be awarded by the Certificate of Attendance.


The aim of this part is to get to know each other, present results, share wetlands experiences, exchange and discuss ideas and different points of view on wetland issues, and express participants' expectations to the course in order to improve the communication and understanding among people of the course. Participants will be asked to give an oral presentation that should be related to participant's own field of work or study and its relation to wetlands issues (both research and practical applications can be presented). The authors will have an opportunity to submit their contributions to peer-reviewed monography of wetHYDRO series.


The event is mainly addressed to young professionals. People that are already involved for some time in wetland restoration and/or water management both practically and scientifically, like:

  • staff of governmental bodies involved in wetland management
  • employees of local water management boards and planning authorities
  • consultants of non-governmental organisations
  • young scientists.

The organisers assume the basic knowledge of hydrology, soil science and ecological issues, competency in English language and expect participants to participate actively in all activities including workshop, field trips, indoor sessions, measurements and as well social life.

The organisers guarantee that leaders of the event have broad theoretical knowledge on different wetland issues and a long-lasting, practical experience in the research on the described fields.


Six-day event will consist of the set of field trips, indoor and field lectures and will be divided into two main parts: practical introduction of the subject by visiting the Biebrza Wetlands and theoretical aspects, including management issues. The event programme will be supplemented by presenting techniques of hydrological, soil and vegetation measurements. The preliminary program is as follows:

  • Day 1: arrival to the Biebrza valley and key-note lectures introducing the subject and the area
  • Day 2: field visit to the natural fen valley and the first workshop session
  • Day 3: field visit to the marsh type of valley and the second workshop session
  • Day 4: field visit to transformed wetlands and the first indoor session on natural wetlands
  • Day 5: second and third indoor session on transformation of wetlands
  • Day 6: practical field measurements and the fourth indoor session on management issues


The venue of the event is the area of the Biebrza National Park (60 000 ha) located in the north-east part of Poland.
The BNP ( is a unique in Europe complex of marshes and peatlands, with highly diversified fauna, especially birds. The Park has been designated as a wetland site of global significance and is under protection of the RAMSAR Convention. This vast river valley belongs to the one of the last European wetlands where along the river and across the valley one can find the habitats in their continuum. This unique feature gives a rare opportunity to recognize processes leading to the development of different wetland ecosystems. During the event we will stay in the heart of the area, a little picturesque town of Goniądz.