Terčino údolí National Nature Monument

The Terčino údolí Valley NNM was declared in 1949 and covers an area of 138.29ha at elevations of 490 to 550 metres above sea level. The territory lies between the Novohradské hory Mountains and the Třeboňská pánev (Třeboň Basin) on the south-western edge of the town of Nové Hrady in the Jihočeský kraj - South Bohemian Region. The Terčino údolí NNM represents an exceptional example of early landscape gardening and is one of the most important historical parks in the Czech Republic. In addition to the landscaping value of the park we can also find populations of protected plants and animal of regional significance. Among the plants – lousewort (Pedicularis sylvatica) and broad-leaved marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza majalis), as well as animals such as the scarce large blue butterfly (Maculinea telejus) and birds which require scattered tree cover and old trees in particular.
 
The rocky basement is predominantly built of biotite orthogneiss with muscovite of the Moldanubicum. Smaller rocky outcrops which can be found on the surface and small areas of boulder talus are formed from seams of aplite, leucocratic granite, pegmatite and biotite granite. The alluvial plains of the Stropnický potok Stream and its tributaries are filled with fluvial sandy loams and loamy sands. The soil cover consists of acidic typical Cambisol and Pseudogley with gleyic Fluvisol and typical Gley covering the alluvial plains. The territory of the monument is drained by the Stropnice stream together with several small tributary streams. The monument lies in a mildly warm climatic region. The mean annual air temperature here is around 6°C and the mean annual precipitation total is between 600 and 750 millimetres.
 
The forest stands in Terčino údolí NNM are almost entirely cultural in origin, which means that they were either planted or heavily influenced by man. However the forests are formed of a varied mixture of domestic and exotic tree species. The indigenous tree species in the park include Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), Norway spruce (Picea abies), beech (Fagus sylvatica), alder (Alnus glutinosa), sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), wych elm (Ulmus glabra), pendunculate oak (Quercus robur), small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata), large-leaved lime (Tilia platyphyllos) and larch (Larix decidua), whereas the exotic species include the Weymouth pine (Pinus strobus) and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii).
 
The herb growths above the Stropnice stream are formed of common plant species such as hairy wood-rush (Luzula pilosa), bilberry (Vaccinium myrtilus) and wall hawkweed (Hieracium murorum). The forests along the Stropnice play host to an abundant population of wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa), yellow archangel (Galeobdolon montanum) and the rare mountain snowbells (Soldanella montana). On the boulder-covered slopes we can find the dog’s mercury (Mercurialis perennis), goat’s beard (Aruncus vulgaris) and rattlesnake root (Prenanthes purpurea).
 
The severely endangered hermit beetle Osmoderma eremita lives in cavities in old lime and oak trees and even in old fruit trees. This is a rare beetle, the larvae of which develop over several years in the red-brown, rotting wood. Other beetles which live here include the rare leaf beetle Oulema dufschmidi, the rove beetle Aloconota currax and the longhorn beetle Saphanus piceus). On the forest paths in high summer we may observe butterflies such as the poplar admiral (Limenitis populi), lesser purple emperor (Apatura ilia) and purple emperor (Apatura iris). Several rare and endangered bird species nest in hollows in the old trees, including the stock dove (Columba oenas), golden oriole (Oriolus oriolus), middle spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius) and spotted flycatcher (Muscicapa striata).
 
Some of the meadow growths in Terčino údolí NNM are not only valuable elements in the composition of the park but are also of great botanical value. The species composition on these meadows approaches that of intermittently-damp moor-grass meadows and damp thistle meadows. Rich populations of broad-leaved marsh orchids (Dactylorhiza majalis) and lousewort (Pedicularis sylvatica) grow around the Lázničky springs. Other typical plant species include the ragged robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi), common bistort (Bistorta major), devilsbit scabious (Succisa pratensis) and great burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis). Small areas are also covered by mesophilous oat-grass meadows with arnica (Arnica montana). The scarce large blue (Maculinea telejus), Glanville fritillary (Melitaea cinxia) and swallowtail (Papilio machaon) butterflies are also bound to the most valuable meadow growths. The food supplies which the meadows offer are also utilized by a wide range of bird species, including the garden warbler (Sylvia borin), redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus), starling (Sturnus vulgaris), icterine warbler (Hippolais icterina) and others. Other typical inhabitants of the meadows in the monument are the voles: common vole (Microtus arvalis), field vole (Microtus agrestis) and European pine vole (Microtus subterraneus). The common woodmouse (Apodemus sylvatica) lives on the fringes of the forest stands, and the common shrew (Sorex araneus) and pygmy shrew (Sorex minutus) are also abundant in the park.
 
The botanical and zoological variety in the forests and meadows in the Terčino údolí Valley is enhanced by the introduced plant species, some of which have been expanding in the park for many decades. On our walk we may see the North American species – juneberry (Amelanchier lamarckii), which belongs to the rose family, bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera), as well as the southern European dusky cranesbill (Geranium phaeum). Near the Modrý dům (Blue House) we will surely notice the solitary examples of London plane (Platanus x hispanica) and Lawson cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana).
 
A large number of historic buildings can be found on the territory of Terčino údolí NNM, and some of them are used for recreational purposes. The park is visited by large numbers of tourists and extensive management activities are carried out in the park. These include hand cutting the meadows, removing opportunist trees and drainage works, as well as sensitive forestry management. Two themed trails pass through the protected area – the Forestry Trail and the Terčino údolí NNM themed trail.