KHOMUTOVSKI STEPPE NATURE RESERVE
Welcome to this website for the Khomutovski Steppe Nature Reserve, a small and beautiful area located in the southeast corner of Ukraine. It has the highest status possible for nature conservation in Ukraine, forming an important part of the Ukrainian Steppe Nature Reserve, which comprises several remaining areas of virgin steppe scattered in this part of the country, all administered by the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
Huge areas of Ukraine were once covered by steppe, a landscape associated with cossacks and thus of particular significance for the nation's collective psyche. Almost all vanished into agriculture with Krushchev's disastrous policy to plough virgin lands in the 1960s (much former steppe land is now derelict). The surviving fragments are poignant places of breathtaking beauty, vital for conserving that endangered ecosystem.
Previously, information about the reserve was only available in scientific papers written in Ukrainian or Russian. This website provides that information in English in an accessible format. It tells you about the reserve, and about how it is being managed to conserve steppe. Of particular interest has been the introduction of a herd of horses to control scrub encroachment through a grazing programme. The website also provides information about access to the reserve and ways in which you can support its activities. This website was produced with support from the UK Darwin Initiative project Recovering Ukraine's Lost Steppe.