The Kohoutov NNR was declared in 1966 on an area of 30.1 ha and lies in the north-west of the Středočeský kraj - Central Bohemian Region. The reserve includes an almost primeval beechwood with a natural species composition and structure, representing various stages in the forest stand development – oak-beech stands,lime-maple stands and oak-fir stands and the reserve acts as an important source of information for the study of natural processes in forest communities. The territory lies on a north-east facing slope of the Křivoklátsko-Rokycany Belt, above the valley of the Ostrovecký potok stream and at elevations of 420 – 573 metres above sea level. The forest complex in which Kohoutov NNR is located belongs to the Křivoklátsko forests but is in private ownership as a small part of the Zbiroh estates which again belong to the Jeromme Colloredo-Mansfeld noble family. The geological basement is built of volcanic rocks of the Upper Cambrian period – rhyolites and rhyolite tuffs, on which a varied spectrum of soil types have developed, from Rankers and humic Cambisols on the stony peaks and talus slopes to plano-gleyic Luvisols and muddy Gleysol around the zoneS of concentrated groundwater discharge which are found in the reserve.
The majority of the reserve is covered with (mostly poor) beechwoods with wood-rush (Luzulo – Fagetum) with coralroot (Dentaria bulbifera) or wood barley Hordelymus europaeus in the undergrowth. Small areas in the upper part of the reserve are covered with acidophilous oakwoods with wood-rushes (Luzulo albidae-Quercetum)and in the lower areas herb-rich beechwood (Tilio cordatae-Fagetum and Dentario enneaphylli-Fagetum) can also be found. On the lower part of the slopes beechwoods with wood fescue (Festuco altissimae-Fagetum) have also developed. The dominant tree species is beech (Fagus sylvatica). Other notable deciduous trees in the reserve are sessile oak (Quercus petraea) and Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Other tree species occur sporadically but are represented in the wide species diversity. In sunny areas of open forest we can also find wild roses (Rosasp.div.), red-berried elder (Sambucus racemosa), blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) and other typical species. A native population of silver fir (Abies alba) grows here. Botanical research has confirmed the presence of approximately 200 vascular plant species, 12 species of liverworts and 51 species of mosses in the reserve. The most significant mosses are the endangered species Platygyrium repens and the neophyte fork moss Dicranum tauricum. Many interesting fungi also grow in the Kohoutov beechwoods, including the coral or tooth fungus (Hericium flagellum).
Kohoutov is a rare and well-preserved biotope, which is confirmed by research into the fauna which occurs here. The invertebrates include a number of beetles which are bound to the natural beechwoods, such as the Tenebrionid beetle Bolitophagus reticulatus as well as the longhorn beetle Mesosa nebulosa, the small stag beetle Sinodendron cylindricum and many others from various orders. Our largest beetle, the stag beetle (Lucanus cervus) also occurs here. The only record of the death-watch beetle Stagetus pilula (Anobiidae)in the Czech Republic is also of interest. So far, 70 vertebrates have been recorded in the NNR, of which 38 are bird species. The presence of the red-breasted flycatcher (Ficedula parva) is of great significance. Black storks (Ciconia nigra) nest in the beechwoods quite regularly. The alpine newt (Triturus alpestris) and yellow-bellied toad (Bombina variegata) live in the forests and especially around deep puddles on forest tracks which do not dry up in summer.
Remains of the charcoal kilns, which can still be seen hidden away in the undergrowth, illustrate the long history of human activity in the area. However the territory has been left more or less without intervention for more than 200 years, meaning that the beech stands here are a textbook example of the breakdown of an overmature beech forest, which is replaced by new opportunistic trees and has developed in an entirely natural way. Unfortunately the large deer populations restrict the natural rejuvenation of the trees, especially firs and it is necessary to plant firs in open glades as an important component of the natural forest stands.
Public access to Kohoutov NNR is not permitted and no marked tourist trails lead through the area.