Oleshkovski Sands is the largest officially recognized sand desert in Europe. Its diameter is about 15 km or about 160-210 thousand ha. Oleshkivski Sands consists of boundless dunes, which height is about 5 meters and with rare vegetation.
How did the desert appear? Some time ago this territory was covered with dense vegetation, which kept the sand movements. But in 18-19th century animals destroyed the only clamp which restrained the movement by eating and trampling the vegetation. Within a comparatively small period of time, green meadows turned into almost lifeless expanses.