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Natural conditions

Location

The town of Lenti is situated in the south-western part of Hungary close to the borders with Slovenia and Austria. It lies 40 km south-west of the town of Zalaegerszeg and 50 km north-west of the town of Nagykanizsa. Lenti is accessible on the Zalaegerszeg-Rédics railway line, on main road no. 75 and on main road no. 86 that connects the town to the Rédics border crossing.

Geological history of the area

On the north-south line along the Kerka River Lenti and the surrounding area, which was eroded by various structural shifts, is covered by the pre-glacial alluvial cone of the Mura and Kerka rivers. Long and complex geological changes shaped the surface of the area. In the Pre-Cambrian and Mesozoic periods the land was often underwater. The huge amount of alluvium was carried along and mixed by ocean currents. The stratification shows diversified layers from the original pedocal- marly stratum to the arenaceous- argillaceous, sporadically lignithic beds. The deposits from the upper-Pliocene can be found in bigger areas on the surface and usually these are made of sand or in some places silty sand. The surface as we see it today was formed by tectonic movements and Pleistocene climate changes. Water-courses also played an important part in shaping the area as they covered the bed of the Pannon Sea with hundreds of metres of detritic alluvium.

Water-courses and climate

The area around the town is rich in water-courses. Several streams flow into the Kerka River which is the biggest catchment basin in the area and the main watershed for the River Mura. The Kerka River, which collects the water of many smaller water-courses, including the Sárberki spring, has top-quality water and this is proven by its rich fauna.
From a meteorological point of view, the area lies at the meeting point of continental, Mediterranean and oceanic currents of air. The mutual effect of these currents gives rise to moderate weather conditions quite similar to those of a wet climate. Lenti is one of the wettest regions of the country: the annual rainfall is around 800 mm but the actual amount often exceeds this.

Natural values

The hilly landscape and the abundance of green lands of the county is typical of the area around Lenti as well. The large, almost endless woods are a major attraction. The characteristic trees are oak, hornbeam and pine. These huge forests are the home of many wild animals, small game, red deer and animals of prey, ensuring that the old tradition of hunting can be successfully maintained in the region.
Owing to the favourable climate the fauna and flora are rich and various. Many protected plants live in the unspoilt meadows and forests. The waters are home to several rare species.

Flora

Phytogeographycally, the area of the River Kerka is classified as belonging to the Göcsej district (Petovicum) of the western Transdanubian flora region and the Zala district (Saladiense) of the southern Transdanubian flora region.

The spring squill (Scilla vindobonensis), a beautiful flower of early spring, can be found in the largest number just outside Lenti. It grows in the thousands in the hard tree forests of the flood plains but can be seen in the meadows as well. One of the nicest liliaceae, the checkered lily or fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris) can also be found in the vicinity of the town. The well-known spring snowflake (Leucojum vernum), flowering in early spring, grows in large quantities around here. One of our most common orchids, the green-winged orchid or „agárkosbor” by its Hungarian name, (Orchis morio) is native to the dry, low-grass fields of Mumor. The lovely blue marsh gentian (Gentiana pneumonanthe), a typical flower of the Alpine region is a protected plant of different meadow types around Lenti. One of the most precious species of the area is the yellow day-lily (Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus) which has become a popular bedding plant for gardens.

Fauna

The area can take pride in the rich fauna as well. The vast woodlands, the excellent water of the River Kerka and the well-kept fields are home to a great number of animals. Of the protected species in Lenti and its neighbourhood we should mention the white stork (Ciconia ciconia), the stag beetle (Lucanus cervus) and the European beaver (Castor fiber) that migrated over from neighbouring Croatia, its former home.

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