Trčkov National Nature Reserve

Trčkov NNR covers the forest stands below the Šerlich – Orlické Záhoří road on the north-eastern slopes of the Orlické hory mountain range in the direction of the state border with Poland. The reserve was declared in 1992 on an area of 67.7 ha, at elevations of 760 – 920 metres above sea level and lies in the parish of Trčkov in the Královéhradecký kraj – Hradec Králové Region. The subject of the protection is the mixed forest stands of autochthonous origin with a predominance of mountain spruce, beech, sycamore and healthy fir trees.

The geological basement is formed of crystalline shales (mica schists, mica gneisses), while small parts of the SE and SW of the reserve are built of Upper Cretaceous sediments (claystones, sandstones etc.). Several small streams carry the water from numerous springs to the Divoká Orlice river.

Forest plant communities, spring area communities and small areas of meadow communities are all represented in the NNR. Rare and protected species which grow here include fir club-moss (Huperzia selago), interrupted club-moss (Lycopodium annotinum), the ragwort Tephroseris crispa, orange lily (Lilium bulbiferum), arnica (Arnica montana), holly fern (Blechnum spicant), fragrant orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea), blue sow-thistle (Cicerbita alpina), Davall sedge (Carex davalliana), western marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza majalis), common spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii), globe flower  (Trollius altissimus) and others. Large numbers of yellow wood violet (Viola biflora) can be found around the springs. Interesting fungi which have been found here include the bog beacon (Mitrula paludosa) and the bracket fungus Ganoderma carnosum.

Interesting and significant insect species which have been found in Trčkov NNR include the common sawfly Aglaostigma langei (Tenthredinidae) which was found for the first time in the Czech Republic. Other insects which were recorded for the first time in the Czech Republic include the Hymenoptera Pantoclis mese and Zygota croton (both Diapriidae). A completely new species from the Psychodidae, which has yet to be named, has also been discovered here. The root-eating beetle Rhizophagus brancsiki from the Rhizophagidae order is a primeval forest relict and a characteristic species of the natural beech-fir forests. Other beetles found here include the handsome fungus beetle Mycetina cruciata and the very rare narrow-waisted bark beetle Rabocerus foveolatus (a relict of the II. order).

Reptiles in the reserve include the adder (Vipera berus) and the grass snake (Natrix natrix), and of the amphibians the Alpine newt (Triturus alpestris) lives here in very large numbers. Bird species which are found in these mountain forests include Tengmalm’s owl (Aegolius funereus), crossbill (Loxia curvirostra), ring ouzel (Turdus torquatus), wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) and the greenish warbler (Phylloscopus trochiloides). A relatively large population of red deer (Cervus elaphus) also lives in and around the reserve.

In the natural mixed forest stands we can find Norway spruce (Picea abies), silver fir (Abies alba), beech (Fagus sylvatica) and sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) – all of which are of autochtonous origin. The original rich fir-beech stands pass into spruce-beech stands on poorer soils. The oldest tree stands are not in the best of health. In the younger age groups we can find considerable damage caused by deer grazing with the resulting loss of firs and deciduous trees from the species composition. Unsuitable spruce monocultures were planted in some areas in the past. Part of the NNR is fenced off and left to natural development processes.

The main aim in the management of the reserve is to achieve a natural species, age and spatial composition with a gradual transformation to a primeval forest structure while also maintaining the species diversity of flora and fauna in the reserve. The meadow in the reserve requires cutting at least once a year and the hay is collected and removed.