Assessment of Former Manors as Rural Landscape Elements: Case Study of Northern Lithuania
Evaluation of the former manors as rural landscape elements and identification the recreational potential of former manor environments is discussed in this study. Paper analyses the infrastructure and landscape components of former manors located outside settlements in the district of Pakruojis, Lithuania, and examines their suitability for employment within recreational activities. Historical data on former manors were collected by analyzing archival material and were supplemented with information obtained during expeditions by interviewing the people who currently live in the former manors. All described manors, buildings, and historical greenery have been established in open places. No parts of villages, roads, forest or forest stands are incorporated in these territories. The surveyed former manors are accompanied by parkland. The manor parks analyzed in this study are dominated by native plants, which account for at least 75% of the trees. An analysis of the diversity of the species revealed that Tilia cordata prevails (54-74%) in the majority of manors. The variety of park styles reflects the evolution of the European parks from Baroque parks (Geruciai, Pamusis II) to Romanticism (Dovydiskis) style. Visitors can marvel at the greenery composition of historic parks, explore age-old (Pamusis II, Geruciai) and fabled (Pavezgiai, Pamusis II) trees, and taste the fruit from historical orchards. In the studied territory there is a need to preserve the manor parks because they make a specific contribution to the overall form and aesthetic of the rural landscape, play an important role in the conservation of biodiversity, and represent significant cultural and historical landmarks.
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