Orlické hory Protected Landscape Area

Basic information

The Orlické hory PLA was declared by the Czechoslovakian Ministry of Culture on 28th December, 1969. The territory lies in the Královéhradecké kraj – Hradec Králové Region, along the border with Poland, and covers an area of 204 km². The PLA covers the whole of the main ridge of the Orlické hory mountains, stretching from Olešnice v Orlických horách in a south–easterly direction to Zemská brána on the Divoká Orlice river. The highest point within the PLA is the peak of Mt. Velká Deštná at 1 115 metres above sea level and the lowest point is in the valley of the Bělá above Skuhrov nad Bělou at 416 m.

The main reasons for declaring Orlické hory as a PLA were to protect and maintain a harmonically balanced landscape, where natural elements blend with the results of long-term human settlement and land use. The whole territory of the PLA is also an important source and collector of water. In the area we can find a varied mosaic of conserved ecosystems (forests with a natural tree species composition, peatbogs, wetlands, semi-cultural meadows, forest breaks and clearings) with a notable concentration of protected animal and plant species.

The traditional architecture of the region is also specific and complements the natural beauty of the region. Within Orlické hory PLA, 5 sites are of such value that they were included in the Natura 2000 system as proposed Sites of Community Importance to protect plant and animal species or biotopes which are endangered on a European scale (e.g. beech forests or various meadow communities).