Lovoš National Nature Reserve

The Lovoš NNR covers a distinctive cone-shaped peak (570 m) with its ridge, located 2.5 km south–west of the town of Lovosice, in the Ústecký kraj – Ústí nad Labem Region. The Lovoš NNR was declared in 1948 on a territory of 49.99 ha to protect thermophilous steppe, forest steppe and deciduous forest communities which vary according to the slope exposition, depth of soil cover on the talus slopes and the reaction of soils formed on different kinds of neovolcanic rocks.

The symmetrical cone of Velký Lovoš hill with slope gradients of 20 - 25º is built of the basaltic rock-olivine nephelinite with a high proportion of calcium compounds. The rock basement is exposed in places in the form of groups of rocks with notable columnar jointing. Below these rocky outcrops there are extensive talus fields formed of prismatic, gravitationally sorted blocks and debris. Malý Lovoš hill (also known as Kibička) is joined to Velký Lovoš hill by a shallow saddle about 90 metres lower than the peak of Velký Lovoš. This ridge or saddle marks the border between the basalt of Velký Lovoš and the more acidic sodalite trachyte of Kibičky. Several groups of block-shaped rocks are found on the ridge with talus fields of large plate-shaped fragments.

The variety of vegetation cover is determined by the variety of the geological basement and the basalt Velký Lovoš has a richer flora composition than its smaller neighbour. Important biotopes found here are the rock and scree communities, steppe grassland growths on the south and south–east slopes of Lovoš as well as the forest steppe shrub formations which surround the “bare” steppe areas and gradually merge into deciduous forest. The forest covers 80 % of the NNR territory. Specially protected plant species which grow in Lovoš NNR include St. Bernard’s lily (Anthericum liliago), burning bush (Dictamnus albus), purple mullein (Verbascum phoeniceum), Bohemian small pasque flower (Pulsatilla pratensis subsp. bohemica), the hyacinth  Muscari tenuiflorum, the stool iris (Iris aphylla) and the feather-grass Stipa joannis.

The thermophilous formations of rocky steppe and forest steppe on the southern slopes are of zoological significance, as are the species living in the deciduous forests on the northern slopes. Protected vertebrate species living here include the adder (Vipera berus), ortolan bunting (Emberiza hortulana) and the fat dormouse (Glis glis). The invertebrate fauna of the rocky steppe, forest fringes and scree slopes is exceptionally rich and includes the purse web spider Atypus affinis, the butterflies – dryad (Minois dryas), Papilio machaon and the clearwing moth Pennisetia bohemica as well as the stag beetle (Lucanus cervus) and the eye-catching ground beetle Calosoma sycophanta.

Except for the “bare” steppe areas and their shrub fringes, the south and south–east slopes of Lovoš are covered with deciduous oak–hornbeam forest with many shrubs including hazel, field maple, wild rose and Cornelian cherry. The western slope has more limes, sycamore and Norway maple in the mix. The northern slope of Lovoš and almost all of Kibička are forested with oak-dominated forest with limes and maples but also more species such as wild service tree, birch and beech in places. On the sunnier slopes of Kibička we can find notable tree-sized specimens of Cornelian cherry and the endemic Bohemian rowan in the white or pubescent oak stands. The most problematic tree species are the false acacia trees which were previously planted on the south–east and eastern slopes of Lovoš.
Lovoš dominates the landscape of the Lovosice district and is a popular tourist destination and can be reached on several marked tourist trails and a themed trail from Malé Žernoseky. The roof of the tourist cottage offers breathtaking views in all directions. Lovoš NNR is included in the Natura 2000 system to protect the rock and scree communities, grassy steppe and forest steppe with thermophilous plant and animal species.