19 ha of the 150 ha nature reserve is located on Sobieszewo Island (Gdańsk Świbno). It was set up in 1991 to protect the local bird population. It’s one of the most valuable nature reserves along Polish coast, treasured both on a national and European scale. It forms part of the Natura 2000 Special Protection Area.
There are over 100 species of wetland birds living in the reserve; for some of them (sandwich tern) it is the only habitat in Poland, whilst others are pretty rare (common and little tern, ringed plover, oystercatcher). For the birds, the most important areas are the beach face, swash zone, sandbars, islands and peninsulas, and sand dunes at their initial stage. Between May and September the reserve is protected by the KULING Research Group, a team of volunteers who try to guard the most valuable part of the area from human interference. Living in the reserve, they watch over the birds and their nests, as well as rare plants and lichen. They also work on marking out tourist tracks so that less people tread on the sand dunes and destroy vegetation that grows there. Sandbars and little offshore islands, favoured by birds and seals, are protected from boats. The KULING team also work on educating tourists and the local community on the importance of nature conservation.