Bulgaria’s southeastern ‘Green Belt’ near the border with Turkey, once a strictly controlled zone, is now one of the least populated regions in the country. It is of high ecological importance, being a stronghold for the Balkan eastern imperial eagle, forming part of the flyway for thousands of storks and raptors and supporting many other wildlife species. Over time this area has been degraded by commercial plantation forestry, which has used ill-suited species that provide feeble economic returns. This project will create a plan to conserve and restore natural forest types and original grassland biodiversity over 230,000 ha of Natura 2000 areas – by converting commercial forests into native oak forest, restoring riverine corridors and introducing natural grazing.