Rešovské vodopády National Nature Monument

The Rešovské vodopády (Rešov Waterfalls) NNM lies in the parishes of Rešov and Ruda (which are administered by the town of Horní Město) in the Moravskoslezský kraj – Moravian-Silesian Region. The monument covers an area of 71.61ha at elevations of 401-558 metres above sea level and was first declared in 1966 on an area of 6.3ha as a protected natural formation and included the rocky gorge and waterfall. The monument was declared again and extended to its current area in 1989.
 
The protected area lies in the south-western section of the Nízký Jeseník Mountains and around 7km south-west of the town of Rýmařov. The monument covers the closed and wooded valley of the Huntava Stream at the confluence with the Tvrdkovský potok Stream, between the villages of Rešov and Ruda.
 
The protected area was established to protect a unique geological phenomenon, where the Huntava Stream has formed a deeply incised canyon-like valley with rocky gorges, waterfalls and cataracts. The monument also protects an important forest complex, which has a near-natural structural and species composition and covers the steep, rocky and talus-covered valley slopes.
 
The geological basement is predominantly built of Devonian and Lower Carboniferous shales, greywackes and neovulcanites. A heavily weathered strata of diabase and diabase tuff of Lower and Middle Devonian age passes across the Huntava Stream valley from the south-west to the north-east.
 
The core of the protected area is the deep valley incision of the Huntava Stream, which is between 70 and 120 metres deep. The steep valley slopes include many rock walls (such as the Soví skála – Owl’s Rock which is 32m high), rocky ledges with fissures and boulder fields. The most spectacular formation is the 200-metre-long but only 6 – 10 metre wide rocky gorge with erosional forms, cataracts, pools, whirlpools and waterfalls, of which the largest is over 10m high.
 
The Rešov waterfalls are among the most important ones in the Czech Republic and the whole territory of the national nature monument represents a unique natural and landscape segment.
 
The forest vegetation on the territory can mostly be classified as herb-rich beechwoods or beechwoods with wood-rushes (Luzula) and show distinct influences from the permanent temperature inversion. No specially protected vascular plant species were recorded in these forests when inventory research was carried out here, although this certainly does not lower the biological value of the territory. Bryological researchers at the monument achieved exceptional results when they recorded 95 bryophyte species here – 28 liverworts and 67 mosses. One of the most notable finds was the critically endangered green shield-moss (Buxbaumia viridis), which is included in the Natura 2000 species list.
 
At the Rešov waterfalls we can encounter many common forest animal species. The fat dormouse (Glis glis) is a specially protected animal species which has been recorded here. The monument can boast an interesting bird species composition. The bird populations are relatively rich and varied as a result of the variety of biotopes which are represented here. Specially protected species which regularly nest here include the black stork (Ciconia nigra), stock dove (Columba oenas), red-breasted flycatcher (Ficedula parva), goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) and the eagle owl (Bubo bubo). The eagle owl populations in and around the protected area have long been amongst the most stable in Moravia. Invertebrate research in the area uncovered the presence of the click beetle Ampedus tristis.
 
A total of 17 varying forest types have been identified on this relatively extensive and rugged territory.
 
The basic complex of forest types which are predominant in the protected area are fresh beechwoods (4S), beechwoods with bilberry (4B) and acidic beechwoods (4K). Extreme forest types such as talus maple stands (5J) and skeletal beechwoods (4Y) are even more notable for their presence here. The long-term inversion of the temperature belts in the valley contributes to the representation of the 5th forest belt in the lower slope biotopes and on the valley floor. We can also find valuable shaded rock communities, fragments of primeval beechwoods, hornbeam and talus and ravine forests. The most inaccessible areas close to the gorge are relatively untouched by forestry interventions. However, the majority of the forests in the protected area have been affected by long-term human activity. One example was the Medieval castle which stood above the confluence of the Huntava and Tvrdkovský potok Streams, the remnants of which are still just visible. As the terrain around the waterfalls is relatively rugged and inaccessible these commercial forests have a relatively high proportion of trees which belong to the natural species composition. Beech, sycamore and Norway maple are well represented here. The silver firs are regenerating in many places and new fir saplings grow especially well on the valley floor.
 
This romantic natural locality is popular with tourists and a marked tourist trail was built to take visitors along the Huntava Stream and through the rocky canyon. This trail passes through a system of bridges, steps and vantage points at the most attractive points. In the interests of nature protection the trail and visitor movements are managed by the Jeseníky PLA Administration.