Ambassador profile


  Name: Nikolaos Grigoriadis
  Function: Forest Researcher at the FRI/NAGREF and Adviser to Forest Owners Association
  Country: Greece
  E-mail: grig_nick(at)fri(dot)gr
  Tel: +30 23146 1171

Organisation profile


FRI Thessaloniki/
  E-mail: tpapachr(at)fri(dot)gr
  Tel: +30 23146 1171
  Established: 1945-1970
  Category: ONG
  Number of staff: 50
Site profile
  Site name: Agras Wetland (Lake)  
  Location: Prefecture of Pella  
  Land area: 1,480 ha  
  Nearest urban settlement: Edessa city (capital of Pella Prefecture)  
  Natura 2000 ID: GR 1240004  

  Annual visitor count: About 1,500  
  Majority of visitors from: The majority of the visitors (except schools) in the Wetland Agras are Greek (95%).
20% of Greek visitors are local people, 50% are from the Region of Central Macedonia and 25% are from other regions.
  Site description:

The wetland of Agras is situated 7 km NW of the city of Edessa, at the prefecture of Pella and covers the core area of 600 ha.It extends to the floodplain of Edessaios river, at the area historically known as the marshes of Tiavou. The wetland became a water reservoir during the 1950s, after the construction of a dam and dikes by the Public Electricity Corporation, to cover the needs of the Agras hydropower plant.The wetland is a characteristic case of the long - term co-existence of man and nature,, the harmony of which has been disturbed over the past few years, due to several problems that the ecosystem is facing. Their impacts provoked the awareness of local community, resulting in the implementation of two LIFE-Nature projects, aiming in the application of multiple purpose wetland management and the conservation of wetland functions and values in a socio-economically compatible way.

Human activities on the site: Fishing, electricity prodution, agriculture, forestry and grazing.



Priority species
  Species code Latin name Common / local name
    Aythya nyroca  
    Chlidonias hybridus  
    Pelecanus crispus  
    Tchybaptus ruficollis  
    Phalacrocorax pygmaeus  
    Cygnus olor  
    Cygnus Cygnus  
    Anas penelope  
Priority habitats (* indicates priority habitats)
  Habitat code Common / local name
  7210 * Calcareous fens with Cladium mariscus and species of the Caricion davallianae
Stakeholder profile        
  Stakeholder activity in the management planning process:
  Stakeholder group activity level
  hi ←        → nil
  Local Government        
  Central Government        
  Private landowners        
  Green NGOs        
  Private sector        
  Recreational groups        
  Education center of Edessa        
Stakeholder success stories

Cooperation and establishment of two development and protection projects of Life Nature in the wetland area of Agras

Two LIFE NATURE projects are implemented in the area of Wetland Agras, the first by NAGREF and the later (second) by the Municipality of Edessa in collaboration with the Prefecture of Pella, the Pella Development Agency, NAGREF and the consulting firm Endiaitima. The projects aim to implement integrated management measures for the restoration of the SPA site of Agras wetland, taking into consideration the management prescriptions derived by the Environment Management Plan prepared for the site (by the first LIFE NATURE project), and involving the key stakeholders of the protected site. They include actions that are expected to improve wetland habitat conditions and result in the recovery of plant and animal populations, especially of priority bird species and habitats. Furthermore, traditional wetland associated human activities such as fishing and stock raising will be supported, and the local environmental information and interpretation capabilities will be enhanced in a way compatible to the conservation of wetland functions and values. The projects included different project actions, focusing in the co-ordination of the management activities at the site, the preparation of leading documents and plans such as the Wetland Restoration Plan and activities such as planting of riparian vegetation, improvement of wet meadow habitats through controlled grazing, management of reedbed habitats, improvement of bird nesting, foraging and refuge habitat, production of information and public awareness material for the wetland, as well as an integrated Education package for the schools, and the improvement of visitor information infrastructure, with the creation of nature trails, bird hides and interpretation signs. Illegal activities in and around the site were controlled through the operation of the wetland guarding project.


Establishment of an INTERREG project which includes actions such as the construction of an information centre in the Vrytta village and some nature trails in the same area (springs of Vrytta etc.)

Supplementary actions for the protection of the wetland Agras were similar to other INTERREG projects. According to this project an old (former) School in the village of Vrytta was renovated in order to greet visitors and enhance new information capabilities for the wetland and its natural beauties. Also, the same building offers all an night service for volunteers. Furthermore, a natural trail in the west part of the wetland (Vrytta springs) has been constructed and visitors may have recreation facilities and opportunities to be informed on site characteristics etc.


Establishment of ETERPS projects (environmental project) in the area according to nature protection and monitoring actions.

An integrated monitoring scheme was implemented during the first LIFE NATURE projects in the wetland according to three core elements - monitoring of habitats, monitoring of water and monitoring of bird species - providing valuable results concerning protection, effectiveness of project actions and the state of the wetland. Different cooperation activities and the active interest by local Authorities contributed to the establishment of further environmental projects (ETERPS) and activities. Infrastructure for water monitoring and cooperations with Hellenic Ornithological Society for bird monitoring are two examples.

Photo credit: Dr Nikolaos Grigoriadis
Communication profile

Activities and products for the communication of Natura 2000


Action plans
Green Days more info
Guided visits


  Event frequency
A few times per year


  Use of seasonal workers / volunteers


  Kind of work / volunteering opportunities
  • Monitoring of species/habitat
  • Restoration works for wetland infrastructures (trails, info signs,etc)


  Communication literature produced


  Communication target groups
General public
Local community
Site visitors
Other: Local/regional authorities
Other: Government
Other: NGOs


  The organisation has a dedicated communication strategy for Natura 2000


  Description of communication strategy

Project meetings informing local communities and authorities about the main results of the project.


  The communication materials are produced
At the site


  Site involved in joint working / networking


  Details of joint working / networking activity
  • Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki
  • EKBY
  • Ministry of environment


Site management profile
"The main management and protection measures in the wetland area, Agras"
  Key site management issues:


  • Identification and organizing of the key stakeholders in the area
  • Studying the relationship between abiotic and biotic parameters of the ecosystem


  Integration of Natura 2000 in overall site management:


By appointing the natural values in the protected area of Agras wetland and
secondly by sensitizing local society and the authorities.


  Key site management objectives:


  • To join landowners, society, authorities and scientists in the framework of the project
  • Best management of the site
  • Increase the communication between the responsible services- authorities and society regarding the protection and management of the wetland


  Stakeholders targeted as part of management action:


  • Municipality of Edessa,
  • Prefecture of Pella,
  • Development Agency of Pella and Endiaitima (NGO).

  Description of work carried out / methods and methodology:



  • Information about the current and future status of the site
  • Meetings
  • Pilot actions
  • Monitoring

Actions fulfilled by NAGREF:

  • Elaboration of a management plan for the wet meadow habitats
  • Management of the wet meadow through controlled grazing
  • Reestablishment of riparian stands
  • Implementation of monitoring system in the wetland


  Results of action and activities:


Management body of wetland Agras and relationships between important parameters of the ecosystem.

The information center is open almost every day and can supply information material to visitors. Guided tours are possible too.


  Indication of budget allocation for these tasks:


Euros 1,000,000


Financial overview
  Organisational budget for nature conservation (annual):


Approximately Euros 100,000 (personnel costs)


  Budget reserved for communication:


Approximately Euros 10,000


  European funding:


2 Life Nature Projects (Life)


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Agras Wetland: GR