Cikánský dolík National Nature Monument

The Cikánský dolík (Gypsy Valley) NNM consists of a small and wet forest meadow, which is becoming overgrown by tree species around its fringes. The monument is located around 1.5km north-west of the village of Bílichov on the border of the Central Bohemian and Ústí nad Labem Regions. The protected area lies on a gentle, south-facing slope above the left bank of the Samotínský potok Stream and is known locally as „Pustá louka“ – the Abandoned Meadow. The monument was declared in 1987 on an area of 0.59ha and lies at elevations of 370-380 metres above sea level.
 
The main subjects of the protection are the critically endangered plant species the bastard toadflax Thesium rostratum – which is only known in the Czech Republic from this locality and black bog-rush (Schoenus nigricans) – for which Cikánský dolík NNM is one of only two remaining localities in the Czech Republic. The monument was also declared to protect the important communities of calcareous fens and moor-grass meadows.
 
In addition to the plant species mentioned above, a large number of other rare and endangered plants grow here, including the sword iris Gladiolus palustris, Alpine asphodel (Tofieldia calyculata), tawny sedge (Carex hostiana), the Prussian laserwort Laserpitium pruthenicum, round-headed rampion (Phyteuma orbiculare), globe flower (Trollius europaeus), adderstongue (Ophioglossum vulgatum), burning bush (Dictamnus albus), grass of parnassus (Parnassia palustris), Davall sedge (Carex davalliana), box-leaved milkwort (Polygaloides chamaebuxus), meadow saffron (Colchicum autumnale), variegated monkshood (Aconitum variegatum), the monkshood Aconitum plicatum and the fringed gentian (Gentianopsis ciliata).
 
The territory belongs geologically and geomorphologically to the Džbán Cretaceous Massif, which is built of strata of Cenomanian clays, claystones, sandstones and soft marlstones, as well as hard Lower Turonian opokas (marlites). The impermeable layers below the hard opokas form a distinctive aquifer, which is typical for the Džbán territory. Landslides (soil slippages) occur frequently on the steeper slopes where the swollen layers of soft and swollen marlstones emerge around the springs. The individual strata within the slope are overlain by weathering products of varying graininess and landslide materials. Small wetlands with deposits of fen peat can be found around the springs on the water-carrying horizon.
 
It is of fundamental importance to maintain the populations of the bastard toadflax and black bog-rush at their last localities in the Czech Republic. Both species require good light and humidity conditions. Therefore it is necessary to cut the meadow by hand once a year, in the period from the end of August to the end of September.