A sea of green: the reed beds of Sic

O mare verde se întinde cât vezi cu ochii din turnul de observație

A sea of green stretches as far as the eye can reach from the lookout tower

The reed beds of Sic represent one of the most accessible nature reserves, situated just outside the picturesque village.

The most easy way to reach this destination from Cluj-Napoca is via Gherla and Nicula. It is preferable to take this route even if it is longer than the county road through Jucu, which though shorter, is rack and ruin. Once you cross Sic, the village with the highest concentration of Hungarian population in the county – 96 percent – the reed beds are immediately at its left, signalled by a wooden sign on which is written in the language of the local majority “Nádrezervátum”.

The nature reserve is known as Transylvania’s Delta, because it is the second largest expanse of reed from Romania. The reed is home to several rare species of birds and it is included in two of the sites of Natura 2000. The access of tourists within the reed area is possible thanks to a wooden bridge, about one kilometer long. There are 1600 steps to make from one end of the bridge to the other, through a sea of green, flowing reed which cools your shoulders and ankles, rustling with each step taken.

The route which crosses the reed finishes with two turrets at the ends and about midway, it has a tower built for better birdwatching. Here are three rare bird species – Bittern pond, Marsh Harrier and dwarf heron. Thus, the destination is ideal for birdwatching, a popular hobby in the West, but less practiced in Romania.

Foișoarele par insule în marea de stuf

Turrets look like islands in the sea of reed

The reed and other three nature reserves from Bazinul Fizeşului (Fizeşului Basin) are in custody of Ecotransilvania Association, which is partnered by Ecochoice Association. The two associations have just obtained the necessary funding for a European project of 2.27 million lei, which will lead to the development of an integrated management plan of the two Natura 2000 sites including the nature reserves in the area (Lacul Ştiucilor-The Pike Lake, Stufărişurile de la Sic-The reed beds of Sic, Pădurea Ciuaşului- the Ciuaşului Forest and Valea Legiilor –Legiilor Valley ).

“The reed beds of Sic represent an ideal place for birdwatching, but for now we focus on achieving the management plan, which is a priority”, said Eliana Sevianu, biologist at Ecochoice Association. On a secondary plan, we also aim to promote the tourist potential of the reed area. “The infrastructure is good and if a tour operator would show interest, we could provide all the necessary support”, the biologist said.

În absența punții, traversarea stufărișului ar fi fost anevoioasă

In the absence of the bridge, crossing the reed would be very difficult

Until then, the reed remains a green oasis, perfect for a weekend walk, not far from the asphalt, but far away from the city dust. The reed, tall enough to lose the track of a horse rider passing through, stretches as far as the eye can reach. An area of two hectares has been declared nature reserve since 1974, by the City Council of Sic. 20 years later, it became nature reserve of county interest, and, in 2000, it became one of national importance. Successively, the surface protected by law went up to 140 hectares in 2002 and to 505 hectares in 2004.

Totally, 12 species of birds, plus one of amphibians and one of reptiles protected by law, live here. Moreover, 42 species of plants were also added.