While the immediate plaza area around the statue is envisaged as having slightly formal, tended gardens, much in the way of the urban parks of Europe, the much larger, wider hill area is intended to be designed to be a semi-“wilded” environment and laid out in biomes - i.e., a large community of vegetation and wildlife adapted to a specific climate - that will showcase different aspects of Cyprus’s natural habitat.
The current area is well stocked with young pine trees and maquis shrub. Of the trees that will be introduced to the area, many will be saplings sourced from the Forestry Department that will allow the hillside to grow and develop organically over time.
PINE (CONIFEROUS) FOREST HABITAT
Coniferous forests can be found throughout the world and contain some of world’s most extreme trees. The world’s tallest tree, a coastal redwood reaches up to 115 metres—as tall as a 35-story building. A giant sequoia is the world’s largest tree, at around 1150 tonnes—as much as eight blue whales combined! The world’s single oldest tree is a Great Basin bristlecone pine, dating back more than 5,000 years.
Conifers specialise at growing in poor soils that are often sandier and drier than the richer soils found in deciduous forests. Deciduous trees put out a whole tree-full of new leaves, only to have them all die in the autumn. Deciduous leaves are great at soaking up lots of sunlight and energy for the tree, but they’re also resource intensive to make. Trees get their nutrients from the soil, but not all soil has enough nutrients to support a deciduous tree in its yearly leaf-making endeavours. That’s where conifers surpass them. Rather than putting out new “leaves” each spring, they take care of their existing needles and keep them for many years.
Many types of conifers can dominate coniferous forest biomes, such as pine, spruce, cypress, kauri, and redwood.
Other plants still grow in coniferous forests, but they’re not as prevalent as the conifers themselves. Many grasses and herbaceous plants can still survive or even flourish in the coniferous understory. Many plants and fungi are even adapted to live specifically in coniferous woodland.
• Calabrian Pine (Pinus brutia) with understorey vegetation
• The Kermes Oak (Quercus coccifera)
• Aleppo Pine (Pinus halepensis)
• Stone Pine (Pinus pinea)
• Mediterranean Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
• Pink Rock Rose (Cistus creticus)
• White/Whitish Pink Clade (Cistus parviflorus)
• Mediterranean Wild Thyme (Thymus capitatus)
• Cretan Germander (Teucrium creticum)
• Mastic Tree (Pistacia lenticus)
OLIVE AND CAROB HABITAT
The olive tree is the oldest known cultivated tree in history and has played a huge role in the civilisation of the Mediterranean countries. Historically it played a very important role in areas such as religion, diet and art. It is also known as the symbol for peace, wisdom and victory.
It isn't accurately known what the botanical ancestor of the modern olive tree is, but it is believed to be Oleaster olea sylvestris, which still grows wild in North Africa, Portugal, Southern France, Italy and areas around the Black and Caspian Seas.
Olea europaea needs just the right climate to grow, hot in the summer, a slight winter chill, and plenty of sun. They are able to grow in nutrient-poor, but well-drained soils.
The olive tree is an evergreen tree with grey-green leaves, and small white fragrant flowers in the spring which produce a lot of pollen. A young olive tree has smooth gray bark, but as it gets older it gets very gnarled. A mature tree can reach a height of 25 to 30 feet, and live for hundreds of years. Some have even lived to be a thousand years.
Carob is a small, drought-tolerant species of tree that thrives in the arid climates of the Mediterranean region including Southern Europe, Northern Africa and parts of Asia.
The term “carob” refers to the fruit of the tree, which are flat, bean-like pods that contain numerous tiny seeds. Also called Locust Pods and Sweet Pods, these fruits are used as a substitute for chocolate in sweets, baked goods and beverages. In fact, carob was once the primary source of sugar until cane sugar became widely available.
As olive and carob thrive in similar environments, they are often found growing together and many olive groves will also contain some carob trees. This not only provided a separate source of income for the landowner, but the carob was also an important source of animal feed.
Recent years have witnessed the loss of a great number of olive and carob trees in the Kyrenia region owing to the boom in construction. The Noble Peasant Park is envisaged as an area where these trees can be rescued and replanted.
• Olive tree, (Olea europaea)
• Carob (Ceratonia siliqua)
• Terebinth (Pistacia terebinthus)
• Kermes Oak (Quercus coccifera)
• Styrax (Styrax officinalis)
Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub is a biome defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature and generally characterised by dry summers and rainy winters and with extensive droughts. All these ecoregions are highly distinctive, collectively harbouring 10% of the Earth's plant species.
Much of the woody vegetation in Mediterranean-climate regions is sclerophyll, which means 'hard-leaved'. Sclerophyllous vegetation generally has small, dark leaves covered with a waxy outer layer to retain moisture in the dry summer months.
The Five Finger Mountain Range is characterised by the steepness of its slopes meaning that the water of its intermittently flowing streams and waterways tends to run-off directly to the sea. Nonetheless, there are areas where Mediterranean temporary ponds, which is a priority habitat according to the Natura 2000 network of the European Union, and is located in various Mediterranean countries. They consist of a unique flora composition, succession stage and/or structural factor. Increased urbanisation and agriculture in addition to climate change, in the Mediterranean region, has led to the loss of a very large number of temporary ponds.
These environments, where they exist, are home to a wide variety of aquatic and hydrophilic plants, including;
• Spiny rush, sharp rush or sharp-pointed rush (junctus acutus)
• Spearmint (Mentha spicatus)
• Juncus heldreichianus
• Cyprus bosea (Bosea cypria)
• Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus)
• Giant Orchid (Himentoglossum robertianum)
Another important constituent of the indigenous flora are the plants that are typical of the Eastern Mediterranean region, many of which are of narrow distribution. Representative examples are:
• Cyprus tulip (Tulipa cypria)
• Pond water-crowfoot (Ranunculus peltatus)
• Watercress (Nasturtium officianale)
• Water Mint (Mentha aquatica)
• Narrowleaf Cattail (Typha angustifolia
Owing to the fact that migratory birds distribute the seeds of aquatic plants very easily, it is hoped and envisaged that the freshwater flora of the park will grow and develop in a natural and organic manner.
Maquis is a type of low, scrubland ecoregion and plant community in the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub habitat. It is found on limestone soils in southern Europe and around the Mediterranean Basin, generally near the seacoast where the moderated Mediterranean climate provides annual summer drought.
It mainly consists of densely growing evergreen shrubs and/or low trees with an average height usually between 2 to 3m.
Maquis, as a type, often includes the similar “garrigue’ biome of plants. Garrigue, however, is found in more coastal calcareous (chalky) alkaline soils, while Maquis is found in more acidic soils.
Phrygana is the eastern Mediterranean version of garrigue and consists of low, cushion-shaped thorny shrubs. Phrygana tend to contain a significantly reduced shrubby element, the subshrubs and herbs being dominant. They often occupy recently burnt areas or areas repeatedly burnt or overgrazed and as such they are impoverished plant communities developing under constant human influence. Most of them, if left undisturbed, may eventually evolve into maquis or pine forests, but very often they persist for centuries and they constitute a permanent part of Cyprus’ landscape and an important habitat for many plant and animal species.
• Phoenicean juniper (Juniperus phoenicea)
• Olive (Olea europaea)
• Carob (Ceratonia siliqua)
• Terebinth (Pistacia terebinthus)
• Lithodora (Lithodora hispidula), Smilax aspera
• Thorny Gorse (Genista sphacelata)
• Thorny Broom (Calycotome villosa)
• Kermes Oak (Quercus coccifera)
• Lavender (Lavendula stoechas)
• Thyme (Thymus capitus)
• White Cistus/Rock Rose (Cistus parviflorus/salvii/folius)
• Prickly, spiny, or thorny burnet (Sarcopoterium spinosum)
• Mediterranean wild thyme (Thymus capitatus)
• Helichrysum conglobatum
• Micromeria myrtifolia
• Sea squill / Sea onion (Urginea maritima)
• Summer Asphodel (Aphodelus aestivus)
• Mediterranean medlar (Hawthorn) Crataegus azarolus)
• Greek Strawberry tree (Arbutus andrachne)
• Orchids and other herbaceous plants
ROCKY SLOPES HABITAT
Chasmophytic vegetation consists of plant communities that colonise the cracks and fissures of unoccupied niches and exhibits a significant variation in species depending on rock type, altitude, exposure, proximity to the sea, etc.
This habitat consists of limestone rock and natural soil patches within the rocky area.
Local and endemic drought resistance plant species also occupy these areas.
Examples of chasmophytes include:
• Arabis cypria
• Brassica hilarionis
• Dianths cyprius
• Odontide cypria
• Rosularia cypria
• Teucrium micropodioides
• Sedum lampusæ
Three ponds are planned - fed with collected rain water which is abundant during the winter months.
The ponds themselves, and the sound of running water, will encourage wildlife to visit which will then lead to the creation of a whole, varied and entirely natural ecosystem.
The paths and walkways, including the stairways, will be constructed with natural logs and tree bark/wood-chip.
A bicycle trail is also envisaged and currently undergoing a feasibility study.
The hiking trails of the Noble Peasant Park will be of great beauty and tranquility. Various trails will be graded as easy or intermediate to suit walkers of all abilities,
but all will offer spectacular views towards the Kyrenia coastline or the Five Finger Mountains.
Powered transportation within the park area will be with electric-powered buggies similar to golf-carts, thus reducing both vehicular noise as well as air pollution.
They will run on natural stone pathways in a circular one-way system, which allows for narrower, more discrete pathways.
A ‘Science Park’ for the Kids Area is planned, for the benefit of younger visitors, which will highlight the interaction of nature and materials, as well as having a distinct sensory nature:
- tactile, visual and/or aural.
Through the sensory modes of ‘touch’, ‘see’ and ‘hear’, children will benefit from learning while playing and, at the same time, absorbing fundamental scientific concepts.
Inspired by the hands-on museums and science centres such as the famous Exploratorium in San Francisco, the Science Park is a fun and enjoyable way to learn scientific principles through playing with:
SIGHT, SOUNDS, FLUIDS and MECHANICS.
Where possible, the equipment of the Science Park will be constructed of natural materials, especially from the wood recovered from the hillside, during replanting and reforestation.
THE SCIENCE PARK
PLAY, LEARN, HAVE FUN !
At first sight, we see a calibrated set of steel tubes of different lengths producing different notes. If we look and listen closer, we discover that the notes are accompanied by vibrations, frequencies and resonances. Tubular AISI 304 stainless steel structure consisting of 10 Ø 40mm. organ pipes. Height for listening 1130mm. from the ground.
An aural experience derived from different height stainless steel tubes producing sounds with different tones. This is the ﬁrst impression, but if we listen harder, we will notice that not only the sound and the tones, but also vibrations, frequencies and resonances are also present. Structure in stainless steel tube manufactured from elements with different diameters: 30, 40, 48 mm. Organ pipes hearing height from the ground of 1,100 mm. Height 420 cm, width 110 cm, length 200 cm.
A delightful musical instrument consisting of a number of tubular bells and a central clapper. Pleasant sounds are produced either by hitting the bells or by air passing through the structure. Curved AISI 304 stainless steel curved stand Ø 90mm. brass tubular bells Ø 30mm. of varying lengths, suspended from a metal ring.
A pleasant musical instrument, composed of a series of tubular bells and provided with an inner knocker that produces restful natural sounds when exposed to the currents of air. This static ‘installation’ piece of ‘oversized’ tubular bells, typical of many back gardens throughout the UK, can add an extra dimension to any sensory park where sounds, visual and touch sensations combine to create an overall collage to stimulate and rouse our senses. The parabolic supporting structure is manufactured from in Ø 90 mm stainless steel and the sound element of Ø30 mm brass tubes of different lengths, suspended from an annulus. Height 500 cm, length 230 cm
A device for moving water up into a large bowl. Based on a system devised by Archimedes to draw water from rivers to irrigate fields. Archimedes consists of the following AISI 304 stainless steel components: a Ø 60mm. tubular stand, a shaped plate screw, and a 5mm. thick plate disc with rotating handle The three shallow, water bowls are made of turned, AISI 304 stainless steel.
An intriguing installation designed to create interest in the mechanics used in moving water up from a lower bowl to an upper one. It relates to the well-known principle of the mathematician Archimedes, who used the screw method to pump water up from rivers to irrigate ﬁelds. The Archimedes screw is great for young children providing one of those never ending streams of water – how the water appears to remain static yet move slowly up an incline. Why not trace the progress of a spot? By placing a small stick at the bottom and follow its progress as it travels up the water elevator! The water travels up the screw, and into an upper pan, which then tips into a lower pan before being returned to the main reservoir. Alternatively integrate the unit with a fountain or pond for a holistic effect. The whole structure is manufactured from stainless steel including the bowls, screw, tubing and support structure. Height 130 cm, width 110 cm, length 260 cm.
There are two weather vanes rotated by the wind: one is an arrow which indicates its direction and the other a swinging arm to show its strength. A Ø 90mm. AISI 304 stainless steel tubular structure supports the measuring devices: two Ø 500mm. rotating hemispherical cups, a Ø 600mm. disc showing the wind rose, and the two strength and direction indicators described above.
This anemometer is used in making precise measurements of wind speeds and directions. A wholly educational tool children can systematically register wind stream and direction, to make regular weather condition notes. It can be useful to ﬁnd out that when it rains or snows, some deﬁned conditions occur repeatedly. Supporting structure made up of Ø 90 mm stainless steel tube. Height 350 cm, width 110 cm, length 170 cm.
Detailed scientific analysis has been, and continues to be carried out, into various aspects of the park environment. This includes studies into the type and distribution of the vegetation that currently exists on the site and also to those that will be introduced.
Wind analysis allows for the prediction of seed dispersal in a given area. Both the wind speed and wind strength are critical factors that govern seed dispersal by wind. Prevailing winds in this area are westerly and consequently there is a tendency for seeds to be deposited on the eastern side of an area.
A shadow analysis reveals that at no time during the year does the shadow created by the the Noble Peasant statue affect any of the habitation in the vicinity of the park.
The scientific studies will also help to raise awareness of issues relating to the threats to the environment and natural world, both in Cyprus and the wider world.
WATER STREAMS AND PONDS
© 2023 by ARUCAD University of Creative Arts and Design Cyprus