Božídarské rašeliniště National Nature Reserve

The Božídarské rašeliniště NNR was declared a reserve in 1965 and redeclared in 1987 on an area of 929.57 ha.

The reserve lies in the Karlovy Vary district and Karlovy Vary region and covers an extensive complex between the municipalities of Boží Dar and Hřebečná along the Krušné hory mountain ridge at elevations between 954 – 1115 metres.

The subject of the protection is a complex of slope and watershed peatbogs on talus resurgences of underground water as well as mountain peaty meadows which merge into heathlands.

The rocky basement is predominantly of mica schists and mica paragneisses of the metamorphic complex of the Krušné hory mountains. Tertiary effusions of nephelinite also lie under part of the NNR. Small talus fields can be found on the slopes of Mt. Špičák (1115 m). Most of the minerals are of Ordovician age and the soil cover is mostly of histosols.

The predominant forest communities are the natural climax spruce forests and waterlogged spruce stands. Remnants of the acidophilous montane beech communities also grow on the slopes of Mt. Špičák. The characteristic vegetation cover on the forest-free areas are the communities of mountain raised bog and peaty meadows. Extensive growths of Pinus x pseudopumilio can be found in the west of the reserve. Among the interesting plant species which can be found here are hairy stonecrop (Sedum villosum), marsh lousewort (Pedicularis palustris), bog sedge (Carex limosa), round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), cranberry (Oxycoccus palustris), arnica (Arnica montana), lousewort (Pedicularis sylvatica), dwarf birch (Betula nana) and marsh felwort (Swertia perennis). A total of 12 forest types have been identified in the NNR, ranging from beech-spruce stands to bog pine scrubs.

Numerous interesting fauna species are also represented on the NNR territory. Significant vertebrates include the black grouse (Tetrao tetrix), ring ouzel (Turdus torquatus), hen harrier (Circus cyaneus), lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), snipe (Gallinago gallinago) and corncrake (Crex crex). The capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) was regularly seen here in the past but has not been recorded in recent years. There are strong populations of adder (Vipera berus) and viviparous lizard (Zootoca vivipara).

The invertebrate fauna of the mountain-raised peatbogs includes the ground beetles Carabus menetriesii and Carabus nitens, the weevil Coeliodes nigritarsis and the moorland clouded yellow butterfly (Colias palaeno).

The main negative feature which still affects the peaty biotopes is the intensive drainage works which were carried out in the past. The NNR management plan has the long-term aims of reducing these negative influences, to regularly cut the meadow communities with rare plant species, and remove opportunist tree species from them and to support the natural species composition of the forest biotopes.

A themed nature trail with a board walk and 12 information panels has been built in the reserve. A network of hiking, cycling and skiing trails also criss-crosses the reserve. However, the routing of some of the cross-country skiing trails is in conflict with protection of the black grouse and it will be necessary to re-route these trails in the future. The Blatenský příkop canal can be found in the northern part of the reserve. This is a Medieval water channel, which was built in 1540 by the Boží Dar and Blatná mining companies to supply water for ore processing.