Implementation sites

Rudava, Slovakia

Revitalizing the Natural Riverbed and Meanders in a Previously Canalized Section of the River


Site features

The Rudava is a small river located within the Pannonian Basin and is one of the most important tributaries of Morava River in Slovakia. During the second half of the 20th century the river was, as the most rivers in the region, intensively regulated. From the total length of 45 km the half of the river was modified into an artificial channel. Various approaches in regulation were applied, from straightening of the river, embankment with concrete panels, production of transverse barriers in the river bet, to drainage of the water into artificial channel.  

The project implementation is focus on an upper section of Rudava – rkm 25 – 31. In this section, 60-70 years ago, the whole discharge of Rudava river was directed into newly build artificial channel. The natural riverbed of Rudava was by this measure cut from the water and became dry. The aim of the restoration is to redirect again the discharge in the natural river bed. 


Restoration will have positive effect on the overall water regime in the locality. Renewed water dynamic processes and increase of water level will launch the hydrodynamical processes in river Rudava and will affect the lateral wetland habitats.  


3270 Rivers with muddy banks with Chenopodion rubri p.p. and Bidention p.p. vegetation   

7230 Alkaline fens   

91E0 Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae)   

6510 Lowland hay meadows (Alopecurus pratensis, Sanguisorba officinalis) 


Greek brook lamprey, Leucorrhinia pectoralis, Alcedo atthis, 

Facts & Figures

SKUEV0163 Rudava – 1958,66 ha

17 habitats of European interest​

39 Fish species

25 EU protected species


The restoration site is situated in a military area. Therefore special permits for entering the area and for construction works are needed. Apart from that the artificial channel should not be left without water and measures should be proposed for establishing a new water regime in the channel.

Natural part of Rudava river represents unique area of high habitats biodiversity. The extremely dry sand dunes are there in close contact with floodplain forests, peat bogs, wet meadows and other wetlands. It is a Ramsar locality, NATURA 2000 site and small scale protected area. 


Slovakia, Bratislava region, Cadaster area Plavecký Mikuláš 


6 000 m – restored the water regime and dynamic processes  560 ha – affected floodplain area 

Existing projects

In lower section of Rudava river a significant restoration was implemented in frame of crossborder Interreg SK/AT project. a hard-regulated channelized section of 2.2km was restored. Riverbank and riverbed fixation was removed and re-meandring of the river was realized. 

LIFE19 IPE/SK/00000 – ongoing project will in next years restore adjacent wetland habitats along Rudava river.

Restore4life implementation plans

ꕥ  Elaboration of a complex study about the restoration potential of the Rudava river. 

ꕥ  Follow up negotiation  with relevant stakeholders  

ꕥ  Elaboration of technical documentation

ꕥ  Engineering process  

ꕥ  Obtaining of all necessary permits and statements from relevant stakeholders and authorities.

ꕥ  Obtaining of construction permit 

ꕥ  Public tendering 

ꕥ  Realization 

Involvement of the community

Fishermen’s association will be involved in the planning process. Migration potential for Fisch species will be restored in the section of 6 000m.  Regional and local subjects focused of environmental education will get the opportunity to involve the restoration process and results in their education program.  

Expected Impact


Involvement in unique restoration – opportunity for schools and local groups, scientist to observe and monitor the restoration process. restored river will provide an opportunity for recreation. In comparison to channelized river, in restored riverbed the contact with the river for people will be renewed 

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