Copşa Mare is set in tens of thousands of hectares of ancient oak, beech & hornbeam forest, and traditional farm grasslands with exceptionally rich flora & fauna.
Wild Lily of the valley, the rare Crocus banaticus & a bewildering array of orchids may all be found on the edge of woodland above the village. Offspring of apple, plum, cherry & walnut trees planted over the centuries have largely been abandoned today and have reverted to a wild state, producing smaller, harder fruit.
The hills and valleys around the village are home to some forty brown bears. Shine a light at night and you will be treated to a magnificent display of moths.
Here is a brief guide to the birds of the area.
80km to the south are the Făgăraș Mountains, the highest mountains of the Southern Carpathians.
This unspoilt landscape and its slow husbandry are an inspiration. As the botanist John Akeroyd, author of the Transylvania Florilegium, writes: "The Transylvanian grasslands demonstrate how once-widespread land-use and farming systems associated with rich biodiversity, including fodder crops and other species required for plant breeding, may yet be a model for the agricultural and conservation policies needed to restore farmland habitat diversity across Europe."
Here is Akeroyd's useful field guide to the indicator plants of the dry grasslands of Transylvania. And here is his text on High Nature Value dry grasslands.
Thank you Jochen for this photo looking south from Cucu Deal.
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