Natural places of interest
This avenue is prominent local feature and unparalleled in the Moravian-Silesian Region. Its origin is closely tied to the former mansion in Dubová. What makes it unique is the way the trees have been cultivated and coppiced. There are currently 61 trees growing in the avenue. Its extraordinary qualities led to the avenue’s registration in 2003 as an important landscape feature. In 2014 a seriously endangered and specially protected beetle, the hermit beetle (Osmoderma eremita), was spotted in the avenue.
GPS: 49°49'6.142"N, 17°46'13.403"E
Kamenka peat bog
About 2 km north of Kamenka, at an altitude of 470–480 above sea level where Hell’s Stream (Pekelný potok) rises, you can find a peat bog, one of the very last in this region. The bog stretches only for 30x60 metres, and the depth of the peat is about 50 cm. In the centre of the bog lies a small pool, overgrown with cottongrass. In the peat bog is living peat moss and some other rare species: purple moor grass and deer fern. Here we can also encounter yellow bellied toads, common toads, common frogs, alpine newts, common lizards, slowworms, grass snakes and adders.
GPS: 49°45'13.128"N, 17°47'15.780"E
Fold Ensemble Natural Monument (Vrásový soubor) near Klokočůvek
The Fold Ensemble near Klokočůvek, also called Dragon’s Rocks (after the dragon once living in the small cave at the foot of the cliff), was declared a natural monument in 1998. It is a cliff that has been naturally uncovered to reveal the folded structure of the Culm slate rocks. We can identify here a variety folds in the rock: symmetrical, asymmetrical, recumbent and submerged, overturned with thrusts and shears and other tectonic deformations.
GPS: 49°43'11.885"N, 17°44'36.689"E
Jelenice Game Reserve
Behind the village on the right bank of the Moravice is the Jelenice Game Reserve, extending over 276 ha. The reserve was set up in 2001 by Opavská lesní, a.s. on the site of the historic Lichnovský Game Park dating back to 1805. The reserve is sandwiched between two protected areas – the Valach Nature Reserve and the Kaluža National Nature Reserve.
The reserve lies in a rugged landscape at an altitude of 320–469 m above sea level (Wolf Hill [Vlčí hůra]). The steep slopes are divided by the Hluboký Stream, tumbling precipitously to the Moravice, along which we can find sedge wetlands and springs with snowflakes (at the spring under Wolf Hill). In the past, the area boasted two mills – Rozsochačský, all that is left of which are some ruined walls, and Albrechtický, which has been rebuilt as a hunting lodge. Around the former millraces today grow ash and alder stands. The reserve also includes the right bank of the Weisshuhn Weir.
The main types of game protected in the area are fallow deer, mouflon, red deer, sika deer and wild boar.
GPS: 49°49'15.786"N, 17°50'0.124"E
Valach Nature Reserve
A nature reserve comprising natural 90–140-year-old beechwood growing on the steep slopes above the valley of the Moravice River; it forms part of the Moravice Nature Park. This area was declared a nature reserve in 1969 with an area of 14.60 ha.
The main object of protection is the beechwood, which is 90–140 years old.
Most of the reserve is covered in almost entirely unadulterated tall beech forest. Growing profusely in the understorey we find plants such as coralroot, especially in the central and lower section of slope, as well as male fern. Also frequently occurring in the understorey are other species typical of Fagus forest: sweet woodruff, dog’s mercury, wood melic and lady fern.
GPS: 49°48'46.541"N, 17°49'2.331"E
Moravice Nature Park
Moravice Nature Park is located in the northern section of the Nízký Jeseník Mountains in the Opava District. The borders of the park are determined by the surrounding road network. Its expanse (14,250 ha) takes in former the conservation areas Moravice Valley (1982) and Raduňky (1987).
The characteristic features of the landscape are the meadows along the valley bottom, the scree forest and, up on the slopes, the slate quarries. The territory still provides a habitat for threatened and today fast-disappearing species of plant: spring snowflakes, martagon lily, ostrich fern, bog arum and perennial honesty. Several mountain species grow as rarities on this already submontaine landscape, for example Valeriana tripteris, false hellebores, Lonicera nigra L. and meadow rue. Fungi include the rare Buchwaldoboletus lignicola and the March mushroom. The variety of insect species is substantial, with mountain species also managing to survive here.
Vertebrates recorded in the area have included fire salamander, slowworm, stock dove, nightjar and black stork. You can also find here three species of dormouse and the European badger.
Specially protected landscapes – to protect natural stands of woody species and rare plants –were established at the end of the 1960s in three separate nature reserves (Kaluža, Valach and Nové Těchanovice).
Nové Těchanovice Nature Reserve
The reserve comprises a preserved natural mixed woodland on the steep and rocky southern slope of the valley of the Moravice River. The landscape is very rich in different habitats, with vegetation in those parts made difficult to access by mining having a natural, even primeval character (desiccated, fractured, wind-uprooted trees). The 5.76 ha locality was declared a nature reserve in 1969.
In the species-rich tree storey of the local vegetation we find in particular common hornbeam, common oak, silver fir, sycamore, Norway maple, small-leaved lime and common beech. Bushes are abundantly represented by fly honeysuckle, interspersed with rarer examples of spurge laurel and European spindle. Some other interesting plants in the reserve include martagon lily, true oxlip, bird’s-nest orchid, liverwort, hard shield-fern, goatsbeard, shrub rose and the abietis subspecies of mistletoe. The locality is also very interesting entomologically, with many rare species making a home here, e.g. the great Capricorn beetle and weevils.
Na Čermence Natural Monument
On the slope to the left side of the Klokočov train halt is situated a lesser known protected landscape area Na Čermence, formerly a nature reserve. Since 1990 the territory has enjoyed the status of natural monument. We can see here the remains of a beech and fir forest. In the herb understorey we can find coralroot and the related Cardamine enneaphyllos, wood melick, wood fescue, wood speedwell and the common oak fern – all flourishing. The surrounding forest comprises secondary spruce woodland.
Within the confines of the natural monument we can also observe the rare and endangered purple emperor, lesser purple emperor, poplar admiral, white admiral and Arran brown butterflies. We also find here nesting certain interesting birds, e.g. the stock dove, members of the Picidae, including the black woodpecker and the great spotted woodpecker, Strigiformes represented by the tawny and the long-eared owl, while besides buzzards, birds of prey also include sparrowhawk and the northern goshawk. Ample numbers of songbird species are similarly present, including jays, blue tits, warblers, leaf warblers, flycatchers, wrens, and our smallest bird, the goldcrest.
This peaceful, undisturbed territory is also paradise for mammals. In addition to common species like roe deer, fallow deer, hare, squirrel, wild boar and the European fox, we can also see bank voles, hazel dormice, shrews, yellow-necked field mice and pine martens, and as evening draws in, with a slice of luck you also might get to see a lesser noctule bat.
GPS: 49°43'42.338"N, 17°46'18.762"E
Marie Slate Mine
Since 1836, they have been mining slate in Kolokočov from numerous open pits. Behind the cowshed is a former slate mine called Marie. Close by is a small lake with willows and yellow flag, presumably planted by someone. Also finding a successful niche in the waterlogged substrate hereabouts is the tall, yellow-flowering nodding beggar ticks (Bidens cernua).
GPS: 49°44'57.406"N, 17°45'10.407"E
Black Mine (Černý důl)
At the halfway point on the road between Čermná ve Slezsku and Svatoňovice there is a turn-off to another former mine along the Slate Trail – to the Black Mine. Not that long ago it was surrounded by forests, which now have been felled due to the impact of bark beetle.
There are a few remnants of extracted rock on the surface, the remains of some stone buildings and a large spoil heap covered in woody plants and mosses. The actual mineworks themselves, however, comprise an extensive three-level complex deep underground, which start with a curving entrance gallery terminating abruptly in a vertical shaft. Getting into the mine is therefore extremely dangerous and strictly prohibited. The Czech caving association ORCUS Bohumín (chiropterologists) have been conducting bat surveys here for a number of years. Wintering here are is a very large colony of barbastelle bats (500–1000 individuals), whiskered bats, and brown long-eared bats; less numerous are the greater mouse-eared bat, northern bat and Daubenton’s bat, with occasional sightings of Geoffroy’s bat, Natterer’s bat and the serotine bat. Similar wintering sites can be found in the region’s other slate mines, for example at the Woodboys gallery or in Zálužné. The Black Mine is unique, however, in terms of the total number of individuals and range of species and has therefore been declared a protected work of nature. Bats may not be disturbed in their hibernation sites, which means entrances to wintering sites are often fitted with protective bars.
GPS: 49°47'50.852"N, 17°41'43.911"E
Bodies of water:
Reservoir “Vítkov Balaton”
This is the name given by locals to the reservoir constructed on the Kamenský Stream (about 2 km behind Vítkov, on the right-hand side of the road to Kamenka). It was built in 1973–75 by making an earth-fill dam, and has a surface are of approximately 5.5 ha. Although it originally served to regulate flow in the Kamenský Stream and especially the fish-breeding Komora pond, built on the stream below the dam, it nonetheless has served for many years for recreational purposes: bathing, boating, camping and fishing. In 1986, as a result of an unsuitable geological intervention during the construction of a new watercourse from Podhradí the flow ratios in the stream were disturbed. The result was a disruption in the water distribution system between the Moravice and Odra and a permanent reduction in the reservoir’s carrying capacity. In the ecological catastrophe that followed many aquatic animals perished, especially fish and crayfish. The hydrological conditions have partially stabilised naturally over the course of time, but poor flow in the reservoir has led to blooms of harmful cyanobacterium. Currently, these renovated facilities are again being used for summer recreation.
GPS: 49°45'57.112"N, 17°46'55.642"E
A string of fishponds called Bělidlo are hidden in a depression on the left side of the road to Kamenka, behind the former manor farm. According to living witnesses, there was indeed once a building that stood upon the stream in which they whitened laundry (thereby explaining their Czech name). The set of 7 fishponds were gradually created during the 1960s and 1970s, and today they have a combined surface area of 4.5 ha. They are fed by a nameless stream, draining water from the fields above. Whenever there is a drought, the ponds and the stream dry up, which is why they are not used in summer.
GPS: 49°46'31.590"N, 17°46'22.788"E
The largest body of water in the Vítkov District comprises the two Paveláky fishponds, located to the west of the town between the roads to Nové Těchanovice and Čermná ve Slezsku. These two ponds are fed by the Čermná Stream, which rises in the boggy field beside the village of the same name, and other nameless streams. The maps name the ponds Pavelák I and Pavelák II. Few people today know, however, how they got their names, or indeed when and for what purpose they were created.
The originally older Pavelák (with the little island) – closer to Čermná ve Slezsku – has an expanse of 4.5 ha. It was named after the first post-war administrator of the Vítkov Brewery, a certain Pavelák. Its purpose was to supply ice to the brewery in winter. On the earth dam, about 200 m in length, we find a plantation of identically aged, mature common oak. Pavelák II (closer to Vítkov), was created in 1968–69 as an irrigation pond.
GPS: 49°47'7.155"N, 17°44'23.016"E