St. Petersburg and its vicinity are not just about the famous museums, gorgeous palaces and summer residences. Our region can offer you breathtakingly beautiful nature.
All together there are around 15 nature preserves and natural monuments on the territory of St. Petersburg.
Summer is just the right time to go outside the city and get to know the nature, surrounding the Northern Capital of Russia a little bit better.
The first natural site that received protected area status on the territory of St. Petersburg.
The preserve is located in the western part of the Primorsky District. It occupies the most part of the Lachtinskoye marsh and the water area of the Gulf of Finland.
The reserve includes typical coastal pine and birch forests as well as lowland bogs, which before the founding of St Petersburg occupied large areas in the coastal part of the Neva Bay. In total there are about 380 plant species from 83 families. Among them is the bog-myrtle shrub, which is included in the Russian Red Data Book.
This protected natural area is located in the Komarovo settlement in Kurortny District of St. Petersburg and stretches along the Primorskoe Highway.
Komarovsky shore represents the area that unites various biomes, typical for the northern coast of the Gulf of Finland: sand beaches and small dunes, mixed fir and pine forests as well as alder woods.
The main part of the territory of the natural monument is occupied specifically by fir woods. The most peculiar are old ones, more than 100 years of age.
The main distinctive feature of local wildlife is the huge amount of large ant hills that are home to the red wood ants. They often unite in larger colonies called «federations», that include ten or more ant hills.
On the territory of the «Komarovsky shore» natural monument there is a mansion of the beginning of the 20’th century, that belonged to the family of the hotel keeper Anatoliy Reno. It is known, than the Nobel Prize winning physiologist Ivan Pavlov used to visit this mansion and the family of its owner quite often.
There is also an eco-route, equipped with information boards, wooden covering, benches and small pavilions. The eco-route was opened in 2014 and became the first object of this kind on the territory of St. Petersburg.
The preserve is located on the territory of the Novoorlovsky woodland park in the Primorsky District of St. Petersburg. It received an official protected area status in 2015.
The woodland park and later the natural preserve were named after the count Alexei Orlov-Denisov-Nikitin, who owned these lands in the 19’th century.
The woodland of the preserve mostly consists of young pine and mixed forests with trees not more than 50-60 years of age. The reason is that almost all the trees in the preserve were cut during the Great Patriotic war of 1941-1945 and later the new ones were planted.
More than 14 species of mammals inhabit the area of the preserve as well as 70 species of birds and more than 350 species of plant, including those listed in the Red Data Book of St. Petersburg. There are no large mammals on the territory of the preserve though.
Dudergofskie Heights is the group of hills of glacier origin, located on the territory of the two federal subjects of Russia: St. Petersburg (Voronya and Orekhovaya mountains) and the Leningrad Region (Kirchhoff mountain). The Orekhovaya Mountain is the highest point on the territory of St. Petersburg. Its altitude is 176 meter.
Development of the territory of the picturesque Dudergofskie Heights started in the first half of the XIX century. In 1820 —1830, by order of Alexandra Feodorovna — the spouse of the emperor Nicholas I of Russia an English landscape garden was laid out. In 1826 the architect Andrei Stakenschneider had built the mansion is Swiss style on the top of the Orekhovaya Mountain. Unfortunately only the footing of the building lived to our days.
The hills are covered in broadleaved forests, unusual for the territory of St. Petersburg and common for more southern regions. The reason for this is the specific climate of the Dudergofskie Heights. The temperature on the southern slopes and on the areas, protected from the winds is always slightly higher than in surrounding areas.
On the territory of the Dudergofskie Heights you may meet mammals that are rare for our region. Among them there are least weasels, stoats and European polecats. The small pond on the Teatralnaya Valley is inhabited by an equally rare species of amphibians — northern crested newt.
There is an 2,5 meter-long eco-route, that starts at the Dudergof railway platform and goes along the Voronya an Orekhovaya mountains. It is equipped with viewpoints, benches, stairs and information boards.
The preserve is located in the south-western part of the Karelian Isthmus on the territory of the two federal subjects of Russia: St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region.
The name comes from the Gladyshevskoye Lake and the Gladyshevskaya River, that in their turn were named after the hero of the Great Patriotic war of 1541-1945, aviator Nikolai Gladyshev.
Rivers, flowing through the territory of the preserve are the only habitat of the unique European pearl mussel, listed in the Russian Red Data Book on the territory of St. Petersburg. The woodland of the preserve consists mostly of pine trees of varying age and mature fir trees.
The landscape of the preserve is quite peculiar: you may see here small areas of meadows, river and stream valleys of different depths, often with round-shaped slopes and terraces, small peat bogs, as well as a part of the coastline of the Gulf of Finland.
The preserve occupies the north-western part of the Kotlin Island, located in the Gulf of Finland. The island belongs to the Kronstadtsky district of St. Petersburg.
Black alder and aspen forests grow in this area, and by the shore you may find some willow trees. In the shallow water area and in the reed thicket there are bird breeding grounds and migration stopover sights.
On the territory of the «Wesrern Kotlin» preserve there is a 1.5 kilometer long eco-route. It starts at the northern gates of the 18’th century coastal fort «Shanetz», created to protect St. Petersburg from Sweden during the Northern war and goes by the fortress railway, that used to connect Kronstadt with other forts of the island. If desired, the route can be prolonged up to another fort «Rif», located on the western side of the island or up to the northern beach.
On your way along the route you will find special information boards that tell about the animals and plants, inhabiting the preserve and small pavilions where you may stop to have some rest.