Landek National Nature Monument

The Landek NNM lies in the northern part of the city of Ostrava in the city boroughs of Koblov and Petřkovice on a raised promontary above the confluence of the Odra and Ostravice rivers. The monument was first declared in 1966 to protect outcrops of the Ostrava strata with seams of coal up to 80cm in thickness. The monument was extended in 1989 to include the valuable natural and cultural forest stands on the Landek hill and now covers an area of 85.7ha at elevations between 208 and 280 metres above sea level.
 
The forests are predominantly Polonian oak-hornbeam stands of the Carici pilosae-Carpinetum type with sedges and of the Tilio-Carpinetum type with lime trees. The oak-hornbeam stands with sedges pass smoothly into beechwoods with sedges (Carici pilosae-Fagetum), which are of a primeval character in some areas. The characteristic feature of these stands are the massive and well-developed beech trees (Fagus sylvatica) which are up to 140 years old. On the sun-warm southern slopes of Landek the old beechwoods pass into interesting dwarf oakwoods with sessile oak (Quercus petraea). The only specially protected plant species which grows in these forests is the martagon lily (Lilium martagon).
 
During mycological research in the protected area a total of 110 species of macromycetes were recorded. Rare and interesting fungi which grow on Landek include the hexagonal-pored polypore Polyporus mori, which grows on fallen branches of deciduous trees, the greyling fungus Lyophyllum boudieri which belong to the Tricholomataceae family, the mushroom Agaricus macricarpus and the little-known white-spored russula fungus Russula leucospora.
 
The most well-researched animals in the Landek NNM are the molluscs, beetles, birds and mammals. The rare rove beetles Siagonium quadricorne and Staphylinus compressus and the ground beetles Amara littorea and Harpalus tardus have been recorded here. The presence of the flat bark beetle (Cucujus cinnaberinus) is evidence of the quality of the core sections of the forest and their natural character. Hollows in old trees are ideal nesting sites for a range of tree-climbing birds, of which one of the rarest is the middle spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius). The woods also provide suitable habitats for bats and a total of 5 species have been recorded at Landek – the noctule (Nystalus noctula), serotine (Eptesicus serotinus), common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus), soprano pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) and greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis).
 
The Landek locality is also significant from an archaeological standpoint, as the relief of the hill provides us with evidence of human activity dating back to the Gravettiene Period (Late Paleolithic) to which the first evidence of black coal extraction in the Czech Republic dates. The “Landek Venus” fertility statue was also found here. Evidence of settlement here ranges from the Neolithic, people of the Lusatian ashfield culture in the Bronze Age, a Slavonic fortress, and up to the Landek castle, which was probably founded in the 11th century AD. Intensive coal extraction began in the area in 1782 and remnants of this mining such as pits and subsidences of varying sizes can still be seen here in the terrain.
 
With the exception of removal of non-native tree species such as false acacia and red oak, the oldest, near-natural forest stands are left to natural development as an example of a forest ecosystem developing in a dynamic way within the industrial agglomeration of the Ostrava region. The surrounding forest stands will gradually be modified to bring them closer to forests with a natural and near-natural tree species composition.
 
The aim is to create a model territory which combines nature protection and recreational usage of the forests in the monument, which lie on the edge of the Ostrava conglomeration. A lookout tower was built here in 1998. The next step will be to reconstruct and re-open the Landek themed trail, which will inform visitors about the historical development and also the natural values of Landek NNM.