Poodří Protected Landscape Area

Basic information

Poodří Protected Landscape Area (PLA) was established by the Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic on 27th March, 1991. The mission of the Protected Landscape Area is to protect and gradually renew the landscape value, its appearance and typical characteristics, as well as to form and develop an ecologically optimal and balanced use of the landscape and its natural resources.

Poodří PLA covers an area of 82 km² and is one of the very few regions in the Czech Republic where an almost natural water regime can still be found and where the symbiosis between an uncontrolled, naturally meandering lowland river and its alluvial meadows and forests can still be seen today. These meadows and forests experience floods or innundations several times a year, usually during the spring thaw and after heavy summer rains. The flood waters form a shallow covering in the uninhabited landscape and disappear again after a few days. The rare natural ecosystems of alluvial meadows, alluvial forests and oxbow lakes cut off from the Odra river and its tributaries are strongly bound to the flood regime. Over the last 1000 years, humans have learnt to utilise the floodplain economically but also to respect the force of the water. The result of this co-existence is an harmoniously-formed landscape on the alluvial plain and its surroundings. In previous centuries the natural water courses were complemented by a system of man-made channels and ditches which drove mills and supplied the extensive network of fishponds with water and many of these artificial streams still complement the landscape of Poodří today. Shade for travellers is still provided by alleys of fruit trees along roads and paths and we can find rows of pollarded willows or massive oaks, ashes and limes along the river and stream banks. The territory is important for its botany, zoology and landscape as 100 mollusc species, 150 spider species and 35 dragonfly species have been identified here. The population of the fairy shrimp Siphonophanes grubii is very strong, as is the fauna of amphibians. Endangered species of wetland and aquatic flora also occur here.

Poodří PLA has been included as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention and is also part of an important bird migration route through Central Europe. Under the Natura 2000 system, Poodří has been declared a Special Protection Area (Bird Area) to protect the kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), marsh harrier, bittern and the gadwall. For the exceptional value of its natural localities, Poodří is also included among the proposed Sites of Community Importance under the Natura 2000 system.

Poodří PLA Administration cooperates with municipalities, citizens, citizen’s groups (non-governmental organizations [NGOs]), farmers, fishermen and especially the Region Poodří association of municipalities, and, indeed, anybody else whose aims are to develop the region as well as to conserve and renew its natural and cultural heritage.