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Explorers Describing the Site

"Few islands in the Mediterranean have the tremendous biodiversity of Evia. The southernmost tip of Evia has something special: the region of Ochi. This includes Mt Ochi, the small wetland of the Karystos lowland and Cape Kafireas. The region of Ochi belongs in the list of the most important regions for the protection of the environment in Europe (it has been proposed that it become part of the Natura 2000 network of special conservation zones). Its boundaries were drawn in 1995 and it was deemed a first priority conservation region in Greece. The great variety in terrain, vegetation and habitats gives the area a particular environmental value. Situated literally at the threshold of Athens, the region can become a living school and laboratory for the many visitors to the area. Ochi is still not an official protected area. In order to preserve the environment, the particular features of the area must be respected, and we must all work together to protect it. The natural environment and cultural heritage of Ochi are in our hands. We can develop it without reducing it."
Dr Kyriakos Georgiou Professor of Botany Biology Department of the University of Athens

"The Mt Ochi region cannot be easily forgotten. This may be because it is a strange mixture of island and mountain landscape, sunlit beaches swept by great waves, a fog-dampened chestnut forest, sunburned Cycladic slopes and waterfalls hidden in the forest, castle ruins and deserted small villages…"
Vassilis Hadjivassilis, Forester

"I first set eyes on Mt Ochi in 1970, on a climbing trip with the Mountaineering Club. I renewed my acquaintance with the mountain after 1985, when I needed to gather data for the European Union’s Corine Programme. At that time, it was not difficult to prove that the Mt Ochi mountain range was an exceedingly important biotope, with rare bird species, very rare endemic flora species and a unique, in Greece, chestnut forest, with hundred-year old trees. Without any doubt, the Mt Ochi region is one of the most important biotopes of Greece."
George Sfikas Botanist-Author, President of the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature

"During my research in the beginning of 1980, I studied quite a few areas in Evia. The greater Mt Ochi vicinity is important for its bird fauna, because endangered bird species, rare in Europe, nest and stop over. Mt Ochi and the small wetland in the plain of Karystos, create a unique combination of habitats. Undoubtedly, there is an immediate need to institute a nature preserve on Mt Ochi because unplanned human activities are downgrading the area."
Ben Hallmann, Ornithologist,Scientific Collaborator, European Union Corine Biotopes Project

"It seems almost unbelievable that so many noteworthy sights are gathered on such an insignificant mountain. Indeed, a trek through Mt Ochi resembles a fantastic voyage, where one surprise succeeds another. Having walked the trails of Cavo d’Oro, of Demosaris and the broader vicinity, it is obvious that Mt Ochi is a breathtaking region at the threshold of Attica, worthy of all preservation efforts."
Penelope Matsouka, Biologist Publisher Anavasi Mountain Editions, Maps & Guides

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