Ruda National Nature Reserve

The Ruda NNR covers a peaty fen with numerous spring resurgences on the south-eastern edge of the Horusický rybník fishpond with significant wetlands plant and animal communities.

The reserve lies to the south of the town of Veselí nad Lužnicí in the Třeboňsko PLA and the Jihočeský kraj – South Bohemian Region and was first declared in 1950 on 0.5 ha to protect the bog rosemary (Andromeda polifolia) and expanded to 14.65 ha (in the parish of Bošilec) in 1991 and the Ministry of the Environment is preparing to extend the reserve again to cover a territory of 57.75 ha.

The fen is saturated by resurgences of underground water. As a result of the high ferric content in the spring resurgences, lens-shaped bodies of organogenic iron ores up to 20 cm in diameter formed in the peat layer.  In the mid 19th century these sedimentary iron and limonite ores were extracted and peat was also cut and extracted here until the mid 20th century. Currently, most of the reserve is left to natural development processes and we do not interfere with the water regime, although opportunist woody plants are regularly removed.

Among the most valuable plant species growing here is the small orchid – fen orchid (Liparis loeselii), which has its largest single population in south Bohemia here as well as the bog-sedge (Carex limosa) and string sedge (Carex chordorhizza), both of which live in areas with a high groundwater table. Other typical species on the fen include rich growths of bogbean (Menyanthes trifoliata) and water horsetail (Equisetum fluviatile) with sparser growths of slender cottongrass (Eriophorum gracile). In areas where the Sphagnum mosses have created a drier and firmer surface we can find the small cranberry Oxycoccus palustris, the creeping willow Salix rosmarinifolia as well as rare examples of bog rosemary. Under the alder growths at the edge of the fen we can expect to see species such as bog arum (Calla palustris) and tufted loosestrife (Naumburgia thyrsiflora). Drier areas are covered by self-set pines and birches with an undergrowth containing alder buckthorn (Frangula alnus) and meadowsweet (Spiraea salicifolia). Areas which were disturbed by peat extraction form a mosaic of shallow pools with rich populations of bladderworts. The white water lily Nymphaea candida, least bur-reed (Sparganium minimum) and more rarely water violet (Hottonia palustris) occur in these pools. On the banks of the fen pools species such as common cottongrass (Eriophorum angustifolium), round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), white beak-sedge (Rhynchospora alba), dioecious sedge (Carex dioica), lesser tussock sedge (Carex diandra) and davall sedge (Carex davalliana) and Alpine deergrass (Trichophorum alpinum) all grow. Significant moss species which occur here are the hook moss Drepanocladus aduncus and Blandow’s bogmoss (Helodium blandowii).
Important vertebrate species found on this fen area include moor frog (Rana arvalis), snipe (Gallinago gallinago), water rail (Rallus aquaticus), meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis) and the field vole (Microtus agrestis). Among the invertebrates the rare jewel beetle Aphanisticus pusillus and the Hungarian glider butterfly (Neptis rivularis) have rich populations here and the purple-edged copper (Lycaena hippothoe) and large heath (Coenonympha tullia) can also be seen here.