Ground Squirrel Reserve next to Solymár Auchan Korzó was inaugurated and is now open to visitors
On 28 September 2022, the new Ground Squirrel Reserve and Gene Bank at the Solymár Auchan Commercial Park was inaugurated and is now open to visitors. On this occasion, Pascal Steens, Managing Director of Ceetrus Hungary Kft. and Nhood Services Hungary Kft., Dr. Kálmán Szente, Mayor of Solymár, and Dr. Olivér Váczi, expert of the Herman Ottó Institute Nonprofit Kft., gave ceremonial speeches.
At Nhood, our mixed real estate services company, we believe that a more sustainable future also depends on us. As a responsible company, we consider it important to assume our role in creating a more livable future and more sustainable cities, and with our actions we strive to develop the environment for the next generations in a responsible and exemplary manner.
An excellent example of this environmentally conscious approach is the newly opened Solymár Ground Squirrel Reserve and Gene Bank. The six-hectare development area, which is also home to the Auchan hypermarket in Solymár, was acquired by Ceetrus Hungary Kft., a key client of Nhood Hungary, in 2004.
Although this is not a natural habitat for these animals, in recent years the area has seen the emergence and breeding of ground squirrels, which are a species of high conservation concern throughout Europe, as the population is threatened with extinction. Recognizing this, our company decided, on the basis of the knowledge acquired with the help of experts, to take action to preserve the survival of the ground squirrel population in the interests of nature conservation and in agreement with nature-loving people, in accordance with the ethical code of social responsibility, and therefore decided to create the Ground Squirrel Reserve and Gene Bank.
During the project, which lasted several years, a fenced reserve of 16,000 m2 was created, where thanks to the regular mowing of the grass and the rotation of the remaining land, the ground squirrel population living in the area was resettled in a natural way. In order to approach the Ground Squirrel Reserve, we created a sidewalk for pedestrians, and a wooden demonstration building for observation purposes as well as a camera system were also added to the area.
The aim of the project is to preserve the Solymár ground squirrel population and strengthen the livestock of the species. As we consider it important to set an example in the field of biodiversity, preserving natural values, and corporate social responsibility, our plans include presenting the life of ground squirrels to the residents and visitors of the area. We want to create a place next to the Auchan shopping center in Solymár, where people can get closer to nature and enjoy spending time.
Pascal Steens, Managing Director of Ceetrus Hungary and Nhood Hungary, Dr. Kálmán Szente Mayor of Solymár, and Dr. Olivér Váczi, expert of the Herman Ottó Intézet Nonprofit Kft., gave a ceremonial speech at the presentation of Ürgerét. Afterwards, a joint ribbon cutting took place with Dr. Zoltán Magyaródi (Project Manager of Nhood Hungary), Diána Dóra Szemerédi (CSR and Internal Communications Manager of Nhood Hungary) and Sándor Csongor (Real Estate Development Director of Nhood Hungary), who all took an active role in the implementation of the project.
Pascal Steens, Managing Director of Nhood Hungary, said the following in connection with the project:
„By creating the Ground Squirrel Reserve, we are not only helping the conservation and survival of the ground squirrel population in Solymár, but we are also raising awareness of a rare and protected animal and setting an example of how a multinational company can preserve natural assets, as an environmentally conscious company we believe it is important to have a positive impact on our environment. This year we have added a fence to the education center area, where all friends of nature are welcome. It's the perfect place for meetings, environmental educational purposes, observing and monitoring the animals and their life, or even a nice stop along the hiking trail. A place for all of us."
Dr. Kálmán Szente, Mayor of Solymár, commented:
„This is a very serious conservation investment, and I have to say a special thank you to the owner investor for making this development happen. Why is such a demonstration space important? Firstly, because we are preserving the habitat and further breeding opportunities for ground squirrels, but there are two other very important benefits. There is a social benefit, which is that we can bring our children, our students out here and introduce them to these animals, because children today tend to know ground squirrels only from textbooks. It also has an environmental benefit, because there are buzzards on this mountain, which feed on the ground squirrels, so it maintains this natural cycle, and if we don't use pesticides, we are also preserving the habitat and feeding opportunities for these rare and protected animals. Once again, I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in this project."
Dr. Olivér Váczi, expert of the Herman Ottó Intézet Nonprofit Kft., said the following in his ceremonial speech:
„A reserve has been created that is also exemplary in the sense that a large multinational company, which does not have this profile at all, saw and embraced this natural asset and created a demonstration center that is exceptional. We would really like others to follow this example, because this project is both a way of protecting the species and a great opportunity for society to showcase this natural treasure locally to the public."