Ve Studeném National Nature Reserve

Ve Studeném NNR was declared in 1935 on a territory of 30 ha and covers a forest complex on the left bank of the Sázava river – the northern slopes of Spálený vrch hill between the villages of Samechov and Dojetřice in the Středočeský kraj - Central Bohemian Region.  The subjects of the protection are preserved beechwoods and talus forest and ravine forests, of a primeval character in places, with high species diversity and with sufficient dynamic capacity for natural rejuvenation.

The centre of the territory lies on granodiorites, metabasites lie under the western section and biotite gneisses is under the eastern section. The slopes are steep and divided by ridges and erosion furrows. The surface is partially loam-covered but mobile screes and soil-fixed talus with a few rocky outcrops can also be found here.

The majority of the NNR territory is covered with herb-rich beech forests, with predominant beech and scattered fires. The firs are rejuvenating naturally in places but elsewhere they need our support. The herb layer includes coralroot (Dentaria bulbifera), baneberry (Actaea spicata), dog’s mercury (Mercurialis perennis), purple lettuce (Prenanthes purpurea) and woodruff (Galium odoratum). Hornbeam-oak stands replace the herb-rich beech forest at the highest elevations in the reserve and the undergrowth includes the beechwood species as well as hepatica (Hepatica nobilis), Suffolk lungwort (Pulmonaria obscura), spring pea (Lathyrus vernus) and others. On the ridge in the eastern section we can find acidophilous beech stands with wood-rush, but with a poor herb layer. The steepest parts of the reserve with talus slopes and the deeply incised valleys play host to talus and ravine  forests with sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), beech (Fagus sylvatica), hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata), large-leaved lime (Tilia platyphyllos) and wych elm (Ulmus glabra). Shrubs include the elder (Sambucus nigra) and the most notable herb is goatsbeard (Aruncus vulgaris). A small area of acidophilous oak is also found on the NNR territory.

The territory is of great mycological significance and species which can be found here include the very rare wood-rotting fungus Camarops tubulina and the rare wood rot Nemania chestersii as well as Ascotremella faginella of the Ascomycetes, the tooth fungus Hericium clathroides, the very rare gilled fungus (Agaricales) Lentinellus ursinus, the scalycap Pholiota squarosoides, the magic mushroom Psilocybe bohemica, Mycena crocata and others.
 
From the invertebrates, there are notable communities of xylophagous beetles and butterflies which are bound to the deciduous trees, including the stag beetles Sinodendron cylindricum and Platycerus caraboides together with the butterflies: tau emperor (Aglia tau) and the marbled brown (Drymonia obliterata).

The rich mollusc population indicates that these are natural forest stands. Sensitive forest species found here include the disc snail Discus perspectivus, Daudebardia brevipesof the Oxychilidae, the door snailRuthenica filograna, tundra vertigo (Vertigo alpestris) and Eucobresia diaphana of the Zonitidae. The occurrence of the rock snail Aegopis verticillus is significant from a zoogeographical viewpoint, as it is on the northern border of its distribution here. The fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) is a typical amphibian species and the collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis) and less regularly, the red-breasted flycatcher (Ficedula parva) nest here.

Most of the NNR territory has forests with a natural species structure and composition which are sufficiently dynamic to regenerate naturally, allowing us to leave them to natural rejuvenation processes. Parts of the stands on the edge of the reserve which have been influenced by commercial forestry require gradual conversion to a near-natural state by utilising natural renewal.
 
Ve Studeném NNR was the first protected area to be declared in the former county of Benešov and the territory is the last remaining example of a more extensive forest with a natural species composition in the Sázava valley.
 
We can enter the NNR from the south from Dojetřice, which we can reach by bus from Benešov or Sázava. Alternatively, we can enter from Samechov in the north-west, which we can reach by train (Stříbrná Skalice station) on the romantic route of the Posázavský Pacifik local railway line. The ascent from the Sázava river valley is physically demanding as we must make the steep climb to Spálený vrch hill. The path from Dojetřice along the ridge is a much gentler walk. Both paths lead along the edge of the NNR territory.