Lužické hory Protected Landscape Area

Basic information

The Lužické hory PLA was declared by the Czechoslovak Ministry of Culture in 1976 on an area of 264 m², to protect the harmonic landscape in the sandstone area of the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin, between the Šluknov and Frýdlant enclaves on the border with Germany. The Lusatian Mountains spread across the former counties of Liberec, Česká Lípa and Děčín in the Liberecký kraj – Liberec Region and the Ústecký kraj - Ústí nad Labem regions and is notable for its relief, high percentage of forest land (65 %) and the landscape is complemented by the Lusatian folk architecture of the region. The mission of the PLA is to protect all aspects of the landscape, its appearance and typical characteristics, natural resources and to create a balanced natural enviroment. The most botanically valuable parts of the PLA include remnants of natural forest growth, wet montane and sub-montane meadows where we can find rare plant species, stream flood plains and significant geomorphological formations. Lužické hory PLA is divided into 4 zones of nature protection of which the First Zone has the strictest rules for conservation. The Fourth Zone is mostly confined to built-up areas in towns and villages and is designated for construction and local development. The most valuable natural areas within the PLA are also protected in small-scale Specially Protected Areas as Nature Reserves and Nature Monuments. These reserves protect complete biotopes such as natural forest stands or exceptional meadows. Nature Monuments protect fragments of biotopes, notable geological formations or significant plant and animal locations. National Nature Reserves and National Nature Monuments are declared to protect locations of national or international significance. Sixteen small-scale Specially Protected Areas have been declared within the territory of Lužické hory PLA.

In 2005, within the Natura 2000 system, the Labské pískovce SPA - Bird Area was declared along with several proposed Sites of Community Importance. The whole territory is also named a Regional Zone of Ecological Stability. Management plans for Lužické hory PLA and for individual small-scale Specially Protected Areas have also been authorised.

The landscape of the Zittauer Gebirge on the other side of the German border was also declared a “Natur park” on an area of 63 km² in 1958.