The rich element of water that flows from the mountains gives Oroklini’s Lake a wealth of nature flowing from the Cyprus mountains. Recognizing the importance of Oroklini’s lake to the Cyprus community conservation work has been carried out on the lake.
Designated as a Special Protection Area with the main goal on the Black-winged stilt and the spur-winged lapwing alongside fifty-eight bird species that migrate through, Cyprus overwinter to the lakes. In Cyprus the shallow salt lakes are also home to greater flamingo.
Oroklini lake was the focus of a three-year project starting in January 2012 to bring the lake to ″favourable conservation status″., co-funded by the European Union started in January 2012 to restore and manage Oroklini Lake. The lake is an important wetland as it is a Special Protection Area under the EU Birds Directive.
Cyprus holds more than 50% of the EU’s breeding population of the Spur-winged Plover and on a local scale, With Oroklini Lake seen as one of the top 5 areas in Cyprus for the reproduction of this species. In total 190 bird species have been recorded at the site. The site is also classified as a SCI under the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) for its halophytic marsh vegetation.
The benefits from this project have been many. An important wetland was restored and this project can be the model for future projects. The project helped to raise public awareness in the Oroklini area as many communication actions were also planned during the implementation of the Oroklini project. Public awareness actions for the significance of the lake included, installation of notice boards at the site, construction of a visitor information point with a focus for nature watching, a photo competition to produce a photo album, and a volunteer-based ‘Clean Oroklini Day’. It also provided information material for schools and the wider public. The project played a significant role on raising public awareness for the wetland. Oroklini Lake has attracted many nature enthusiasts.
The southern side of Oroklini is also dominated with water. Located at the foothill of ‘Arodafni’ in the southern edges lies’ the sap,’ a unique and rare architectural structure that relates to the canalization of Oroklini waters. From a sectional view, it is a vaulted structure with a sharp-end channel.
However, it is not clear whether the sap received water from an independent source or the same source as the spring of St Catherine. The water was channelled to an “argaki” along the village edge. Where it supplied a fountain at the nearest crossing of “Anexartisias”, “Antheon”, “1st of March”, and “G. Fotiou” streets. Today, the fountain is no longer in existence.
The village ends further east, at the stone-made school that was constructed in 1922 the school has now been replaced by offices of the Community Council. From the “Laoumi” ‘the sap’, there was a footpath towards “Profitis Elias”. This footpath leads to a flight of stairs that are carved on the rock, known as the “Prophet’s footprints”.
Whether we call it Oroklini, Oklini or Voroklini, this Cypriot village essential, elements enhance the biodiversity and richness of the land and water. Making Oroklini’s lakes and the richness of the mountain waters and land Natures Paradise.