The protected landscape area is located in line with Hódmezővásárhely, on the left bank of the Tisza. The landscape of Mártély is perhaps the most beautiful landscape of the southern part of the Tisza: oxbow lakes, bogs, wet meadows, marshy, boggy areas on the widening floodplain of the river. The floodplain between the Tisza and the dams was formed during the regulation of the Tisza at the end of the 19th century. During the works, the necessary soil was excavated from a series of cubbyholes, creating a floodplain landscape.
The landscape has been protected since 1971, formed during the river regulation. Zt is included in The List of Wetlands of International Importance and in 1979 the protected landscape area was posted to the list of the Ramsar Convention. The protected area is divided into three very different parts. The northern area, consisting of the Martély Oxbow and the Ányás-Island, is the noisiest part of the area. South of the oxbow is the Kutyafenék, followed by the Körtvélyesi Oxbow and finally the Barci Meadow.
The flora of the protected area is characterised by brush-grass marshland, marsh marigolds, frog’s bane, frog’s bane, various frog vines, water hyacinth and a relatively rare species of frogweed. The woodland, with a mixture of willow, grey and white ash, is reminiscent of an artificially shaped landscape with the occasional stumpy oak at higher altitudes. The marshy backwaters and cubbyholes are rich in protected plants.Utricularia vulgaris, Salvinia natans, Trapa natans and Wolffia arrhizal are also flourish here.
The water is also very rich in protected fish fauna. 36 species of fish have been recorded, including the Acipenser nudiventris, A. güldenstaedti colchicus), Umbra krameri, Cobitis taenia, Misgurnis fossilis, Zingel zingel, Z. streber. The attraction for anglers is not these protected and rare species, but the large carp, pike, roach and the huge catfish. In addition to fish and aquatic insects, reptiles and amphibians are the main food source for the bird populations that led to the inclusion of the protected area on the Ramsar Convention list in 1979.
254 bird species have been recorded from the area, 112 of which have bred. The Luscinia megarhynchos, Carduelis chloris, Sylvia articapilla and Turdus merula, which is also well known from the cities, find nesting sites in the lush floodplain vegetation. The birdlife of the old-growth forests is also very diverse. The Strix aluco breeds in the hollows of the hollow trees. The Haliaetus albicilla used to breed in the canopy, which can reach heights of over 20 metres, but the Milvus migrans and the Ciconia nigra still breed there. During spring floods, migrating ducks appear in droves in flooded meadows. As the water level drops, it is time for herons and storks. Egretta alba, Platalea leucorodia, Ardea cinerea, Egretta garzetta, and Nycticorax nycticorax.
Even with the onset of summer, there is still plenty of activity on the banks of the estuaries and in the coves.
Inhabitants of the nearby Eagle Lake heronry come here for food. Of course, otters (Lutra lutra) also thrive in the fish-rich waters. Early in the morning, you can often see their footprints in the mud or the remains of their dinner, the fish skeleton, on the shore.
The international conservation organisation WWF released eight Eurasian beavers in the Martély Landscape Reserve in November 2006. The animals left their home at Körtvélyesi Marsh very soon afterwards, but one family settled nearby at the Kenyereér Canal. Later, an examination of the rodents’ habitat revealed that the beavers that remained in the area were joined by offspring.
The livelihood opportunities provided by the river have made this stretch of the Tisza inhabited for thousands of years. Neolithic finds, an Avar cemetery, the remains of a Sarmatian settlement, an Árpád cemetery and the remains of a fishing village from the 14th and 15th centuries have been found here.
Mártély, the namesake of the protected landscape area, has also been a favourite place for painters for some time. János Tornyai, Béla Endre and György Kohán often came here from the Hódmezővásárhely Artists’ Centre. For several decades there has been a summer artists’ camp on the waterfront.
Mártély has been known as a holiday resort since 1928. On hot summer weekends, 2000 – 2500 people visit the beach of the Mártély bay. In November 2005, the Municipality of Hódmezővásárhely inaugurated the “Nature Trail”, which presents the natural values of the Mártély marsh on an exciting walk.
The reason for and purpose of the inclusion in the inventory is the preservation of natural plant communities, protected plant species and the living conditions of the associated animal communities in habitats characterised by the landscape and natural features and values of the area.