Chlumská stráň National Nature Reserve

The Chlumská stráň NNR lies on the steep slopes above the Berounka river and its right-bank tributary – the Radubice stream to the west of the village of Chlum in the Plzeňský kraj-Plzeň Region withpredominantly west and north-west slope orientations and has been protected since 1933. The main subject of the protection are the mixed talus forest stands with the occurrence of yew trees (Taxus baccata). Chlumská stráň is an exceptional locality for the maintenance of the gene fund for the yews. The national nature reserve also forms a part of the Horní Berounka Nature Park.
 
The territory lies on the steep erosional right-bank slope of the deep valley of the Berounka river, and belongs to the geomorphological unit of the Plaská pahorkatina Hilly Land. The geological basement is predominantly built of consolidated sediments- shales, greywackes and siltstones, with smaller areas of silicate rocks which are of Upper Proterozoic age. The Quaternary cover is formed of the remnants of older rocks and of various types of colluvia. The soils are acidic saturated Cambisols with skeletal Rankers. Typical cambic Gleysol can be found along the stream and on its deluvium. Evidence of Celtic settlement from the period around 500BC has been found in the area around the current protected area. The mean annual air temperature for the period from 1961 to 1990 was 7.1 - 8ºC and the mean annual precipitation from the same period was 501 – 600 mm. The NNR lies at elevations between 255 and 470 metres above sea level. The majority of the protected area is drained by the Berounka river, while the south-western section is drained by the Radubice stream.
 
The current vegetation cover in the reserve consists of natural or original forests (relict pinewoods), cultural forests and fragments of forest-free communities. The specific georelief and substrates provide the condition for the presence of acidophilous oak woods (Genisto germanicae-Quercion association), pinewoods, talus and ravine forests (Tilio-Acerion alliance- Aceri-Carpinetum association), remnants of alder stands (Alnion glutinoso-incanae) and communities on the rocky outcrops (Allyso-Festucion pallentis). As well as yews in the tree layer we can also find silver fir (Abies alba),  juniper (Juniperus communis), whitebeam ( Sorbus aria), wild service tree ( Sorbus torminalis), fluttering elm (Ulmus laevis), sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), Norway maple (Acer platanoides), field maple (Acer campestre), small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata), sessile oak (Quercus petraea), hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) and wych elm (Ulmus glabra). Extensive shrub growths (hawthorn and hazel) can be found in the more open and vertically-integrated forest stands. The herb layer varies greatly according to the type of forest community. In the relict pinewoods we can often find nothing but moss growths on the rocky outcrops. The swallowwort (Vincetoxicum hirundarium) grows in the dwarf oakwoods. Other significant herb species which occur at Chlumská stráň include the martagon lily (Lilium martagon), the St. Bernard’s lily Anthericum ramosum, bulbous fumitory (Corydalis cava), and oxlip (Primula veris). We can also find the wood small-reed (Calamagrostis epigejos), wood ragwort (Senecio ovatus), small balsam (Impatiens parviflora), touch-me-not balsam (Impatiens noli-tangere), spring pea (Lathyrus vernus) and hepatica (Hepatica nobilis). The tree species composition in the more inaccessible parts of the reserve (especially on the steep slopes) is close to the natural composition and the yew (Taxus baccata) grows here too. The forest stands in other parts or the reserve predominantly consist of spruce and pine monocultures, although silver firs can be found here too.
 
Notable animal species which live here include the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra), common toad (Bufo bufo), viviparous lizard (Zootoca vivipara) and common viper (Vipera berus). Many forest birds live on the slopes and significant species include the eagle owl (Bubo bubo), tawny owl (Strix aluco) and long-eared owl (Asio otus). The kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) and the sand martin (Riparia riparia) can be seen by the water courses. An eye-catching invertebrate is the chocolate arion  slug (Arion rufus).
 
The streams in the NNR and the neighbouring Berounka river are angling waters. A marked tourist trail leads to the rocky outcrop in the central part of the reservation, where there is a viewing pavillion which offers views over the Hřešihlavská Nature Park.