The Szoko Peatland is one of the most beautiful and well preserved peatlands of Szeklerland, Transsylvania. It lays on the Eastern slope of Madarasi Harghita Peak                                    (1800 m), Harghita County.

General Description

The small plateau formed here during the volcanic activiy created a staged area on the upper 100-150 meters of the Peak. Springs welling up on the slopes flow slowly and impregnate abundantly the soil with water, creating conditions for peat formation. Locally there are some ephemeral brooklets but they disappear in the peaty area. Some smaller peatbogs with dwarf spruce individuals raise from the peatland. Where the slope steeps, waters show again and give birth to the Szöko Stream, known for its small but very attractive waterfall. Although frequented by tourists, this peatland escaped the observation of botanists for many ears. It lays on 1700-1600 meters above sea level, on an area of 23-30 hektares.

Why Does it Need Protection?

These spring-fens, raised-bogs and rich-fens developed here are extremely fragile habitats that are very important from conservational point of view. The cold climate of the mountain created conditions for survival of several rare and protected plant species, some of them glacial relicts of endemits. Unfortunately, several of these habitats are unknown to scientific and nature protection community. Moreover, recent retrocedation of lands draw serious problems regarding their effective protection.