Lichnice – Kaňkovy hory National Nature Reserve

The NNR lies on an attractive section of the fault ridge in the north-western part of the Železné hory PLA and in the Pardubický kraj – Pardubice Region, at elevations between 328 and 559 m above sea level. The older section, consisting of two ravines has been protected since 1955, and the long ridge with beechwoods in 1990. Both sections were joined into one NNR on 1st June 1992. On an area of 374 ha we can find a geomorphologically varied area with many plant communities and a wide range of plant and animal species. The most notable landforms are the deep ravines built in the hard gneisses. Both ravines cut through the fault ridge, but differ in character. Whereas the Lovětínská rokle ravine is deeper and more open, with predominant beech stands, the Hedvikovská ravine is divided into two parts, is more closed and has a wider variety of tree species. Alongside beeches (Fagus sylvatica) we can also find oaks, silver fir (Abies alba), lime, elm and higher representations of rock pine and talus stands. Since 27th January 2007, both ravines have been included in a non-intervention forest area. The Kaňkovy hory ridge is dominated by acidophilous beechwoods. Only a small section of the beechwoods here as classified as herb-rich beechwoods where the herb layer in spring is dominated by nine-leaved toothwort (Dentaria enneaphyllos).

Relict pine stands and grass communities with the fescue – Festuca pallens can be found on the rocky outcrops in both ravines. Talus forest communities are found below these rocky outcrops. Remnants of alder stands are found along the streams.

This varied territory is the home of many rare and endangered species. Plants which grow on the rocky outcrops include biting stonecrop (Sedum acre) and forked spleenwort (Asplenium septentrionale), and in the forest European sanicle (Sanicula europaea), whorled Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum verticillatum), fir clubmoss (Huperzia selago), baneberry (Actaea spicata), mezereon (Daphne mezereum). Opposite-leaved golden saxifrage (Chrysosplenium oppositifolium) grows by the streams.

From a zoological viewpoint, this is the section of the whole Železné hory PLA with the highest species diversity. Molluscs which occur here include the typical snail Causa holosericea and the typical snail Helicigona lapicida. Broad-fingered crayfish (Astacus astacus) live in the stream and there is a strong population of fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) in the Lovětínská rokle ravine. Here we can also find rich bird populations and the eagle owl (Bubo bubo) has nested here regularly since 1955. Birds living in the beechwoods include the black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), stock dove (Columba oenas) and red-breasted flycatcher (Ficedula parva). Middle spotted woodpeckers (Dendrocopos medius) live along the forest fringes.

Several marked tourist trails and cycle trails, a themed nature trail and the Železné hory region long-distance trail all pass through the NNR. An interesting viewpoint is from the Dívčí kámen rock in Podhradí. The whole NNR is proposed for inclusion in the Natura 2000 system.