Őrség National Park

Size of the protected area: 43 934 ha. Including a 3104 ha. highly protected area.
Location: the central area of the National Park extends from the western country border along the line of settlements: Szentgotthárd, Körmend, Zalalövő, Kerkafalva, Szentgyörgyvölgy.
Visiting: The majority of the area is free to access by the public, though some parts are strictly protected, which are closed or can be visited only with special permission. (Particularly turf moss areas and marshlands). Detailed information can be collected at the National Park Centre.
The Őrség has preserved its mystery up to the present. It is not the mystery of outlaw-stories and deep narrow creeks like in other areas of Hungary: Bakony-hills, Börzsöny-hills. It is a relatively independent, very special and slightly introverted area with a unique isolated development track, though connected to the surrounding regions. In this closed world man and nature have lived in harmony that determines the atmosphere of the area. 
The establishment of the Őrség National Park was justified by the unique flora and fauna as well as the invaluable landscape settings with scattered villages of typical architecture amongst the amazing undisturbed pine woods. 
Although the region is known as Őrség, as the name of the nature park shows, the area can be divided into three geographical areas similar to each other, but with slight differences. The eastern border extends from Zalalövő to Orfalu and Apátistvánfalva. The so called Vend-region is over this region. The southern part extends south of the Kerka River named Hetés. (Őrség is all these three land parts.)

The territory of Őrség, Vend-region and Hetés has been formed for many millions of years before by the rivers heading eastwards. The clay and gravel base rock was created by the ancient Rába - Dráva rivers which is still formed by the rivers running down from the Alps: Ikva, Pinka, Kerka, Zala. The alluvial deposits spread and heaped at other parts have created the basic shapes, which has been altered by erosion resulting in the typical hilly landscape of tender slopes and valleys.
The territory is blessed with a pleasantly balanced sub-alpine climate that means warm, not too hot summers and rainy but not too cold winters. Abundant precipitation all round the year produces rich vegetation, nearly two third of the area is covered with woods. The soil – eroded brown wood soil without a thick fertile layer on the clay gravel base - would not yield sufficient amount of agricultural crops. 

9942 Szalafő, Templomszer 21.

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