Effective absorption of LEADER/CLLD funds in Polhov Gradec (LAG Marshes and Surroundings)

Effective absorption of LEADER/CLLD funds in Polhov Gradec (LAG Marshes and Surroundings)

  • Datum objave 09.05.2024

About LAG Marshes and Surroundings

The Ljubljana Marshes and Surroundings Local Action Group (LAG)  covers the south-western part of the Ljubljana Marshes and surrounding hills, plateaus, and valleys, such as the Krim Hills, the Rakitnica Plateau, the Pokojišče Plateau and the Polhov Gradec Hills. The Ljubljana Marshes and the distinctly hilly part of the LAG are sparsely populated, with most settlements located on the outskirts of the Ljubljana Marshes and at higher elevations in the hills. The LAG covers six municipalities: Borovnica, Brezovica pri Ljubljana, Dobrova-Polhov Gradec, Horjul, Log-Dragomer, and Vrhnika.

With funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the LAG has secured over EUR 2.1 million to implement its local development strategy.

A total of 19 projects have been approved under the EAFRD, with 10 projects scheduled for completion by 31 December 2023.

LAG’s lead partner is CERPOK Preserje.


Polhov Gradec

Located in the heart of the Polhov Gradec Hills, the town of Polhov Gradec is an integral part of the LAG Marshes and its surroundings. At an altitude of 401 metres and 17 kilometres away from Ljubljana, Polhov Gradec is home to the Old Castle (Kalvarija) and the Polhov Gradec Mansion. The mansion is administered by the Technical Museum of Slovenia and houses the Museum of Post and Telecommunications, as well as the Local Museum.

The EAFRD project Local Products from Count Blagaj’s Land was hosted in the mansion, with the main objective of bringing together various suppliers in the municipality to help develop two tourism products: the “Bundle of Delights from Count Blagaj’s Land” (leading to a culinary exploration of local farms and product suppliers, allowing travellers to taste the delicacies they produce) and a set of short experiences with at least 10 suppliers (including local food producers, with activities such as guided hikes to the nearby hills like St Lovrenc or Grmada, restoration workshops, etc.). The project featured individual workshops with stakeholders to improve how the product portfolio is presented to domestic and foreign visitors. Workshops were also held to strategise the use of the Delights from Blagaj’s Land brand. The aim of the project was to promote the development of tourism in the Municipality of Dobrova-Polhov Gradec, while involving the local population in generating additional income through various means such as accommodations, food service, sale of local products and services for workshops and other activities. The project was implemented in cooperation with the Municipality of Dobrova-Polhov Gradec, the Technical Museum of Slovenia and the Public Institution Polhov Gradec Mansion.

The mansion was also part of the EAFRD project To the Polhov Gradec Hills by Bike, which aimed to create a link between three providers along the circular cycle route (Polhov Gradec, Črni Vrh and Šentjošt). This initiative allowed visitors to explore the area on e-bikes while enjoying various experiences offered by local providers, such as learning about Slovenian beekeeping and honey at the Božnar Honey House, enjoying “tea with Count Blagaj” at his mansion, embarking on a family adventure at the Polhov Gradec Dormouse Adventure Park, exploring mailbag stories at the Museum of Post and Telecommunications, trying their hand at fresco painting, learning about restoration at the carving and gilding workshop, traditional bread baking, ethnological workshops, etc. To make it easier for large groups of visitors to rent bikes, the project partners were able to borrow bicycles from each other. The partners involved in this project were the Public Institution Polhov Gradec Mansion and the room providers Simon Košir and Peter Keršič.  In 2022, the project was expanded as part of the LAG project: Bike Parks – Riding Skills Workshops, which focused on collecting and surveying cycling routes in the LAG Marshes and Surroundings (more: https://www.lasbarje.si/kolesarjenje).These cycling routes will be included in the 2024 range of tourism products of the Ljubljana Tourism destination management organisation.

In the immediate neighbourhood of the Polhov Gradec Mansion is a park that houses the Polhov Gradec Dormouse Adventure Park , a project co-funded by the ERDF. The project partners were the Municipality of Dobrova-Polhov Gradec, the Technical Museum of Slovenia, the Emil Adamič Music School and the Dobrova Cultural and Arts Society. The aim of this family adventure trail is to encourage children to be active outdoors and to introduce them to the world of hiking. With its didactic value, children will develop their imagination by solving tasks and learning interesting facts about the local environment. The journey through this enchanting land of adventure begins at the Polhov Gradec Mansion where children are given the important task of helping the dormouse find a new home. Equipped with a dormouse booklet and a pencil, children set off on their journey, placing stickers in their booklet, collecting stamps and completing various tasks along the way. The trail features 10 large wooden sculptures of forest animals, wooden houses, a children’s beehive, animal posts, a badger, didactic elements, etc. As a complex tourism product, the adventure park also includes a picture book, a musical fairy tale and trained interpretive guides. A video presentation of the Polhov Gradec Dormouse Adventure Park is also available for visitors.

Nearby is the EAFRD project The Viewpoint Above the Polhov Gradec Mansion in which the Municipality of Dobrova-Polhov Gradec, in cooperation with its partners Dežela Zelišč, Margita Vehar s.p. and the Public Institution Polhov Gradec Mansion, has created a thematic trail in the heart of Polhov Gradec, connecting the bus station with the old village centre. The path snakes up a grassy slope, offering viewpoints at bends and extensions with urban amenities (playgrounds, resting places, exhibition panels). It is designed in harmony with the urban layout of Polhov Gradec.

Not far away, the EAFRD Honey Treasures project was implemented to enhance the park and create a venue at Pograjski Dom for events, recreational activities, cultural programmes, and more. The project involved the replanting of trees and shrubs damaged by frost and bark beetles between 2014 and 2016, with a focus on native species (including melliferous plants). In addition, the project facilitated the acquisition of a prefabricated stage for performances and events held by local associations within the event space. The stage is also used for other community events. By targeting different groups such as community associations, local residents, families with children, senior citizens and hikers, the project aimed to promote active and social leisure activities. The partners involved in the project were the Municipality of Dobrova-Polhov Gradec, the Polhov Gradec Tourist Society, the Polhov Gradec Volunteer Fire Brigade, the Božnar Honey House, and the Blagajana Alpine Society.