2013 - the first season of measures to restore meadows

This year was important for the project especially from the point of view of preparatory activities A and starting the management measures in the terrain, in other words, start of activities C.

Within the direct measures, we focused more on personal meetings with the farmers, the cooperation of which is irreplaceable in the care for meadows and for the sustainability of the farming in the long term.

Within the activity A1, we prepared another 18 plans for management measures with the aim of starting or improving the care of mountain meadows in Krkonoše. Afterwards, in spring and autumn we published 1st and 2nd calls to apply for a donation for farming. Thanks to these announcements, local farmers were able to cooperate in the care for meadows and we were able to sign contracts about caring for 11 mountain enclaves (activity C1).

Selected meadows of the total area of 139 hectares were pastured by 1484 pieces of livestock, mostly sheep (1460 sheep, 12 goats, 10 cows, 2 horses). Apart from the pasturing of meadow plants, the farmers were also motivated to perform traditional mowing of grasslands. A special emphasis in making farming plans was placed on leaving unmown bands of land for invertebrates.

We created a working team, which is directly managed by expert workers from the KRNAP administration. The team performed special short-term interventions to ease the subsequent farming of the areas (activities C2, C3).

Works limiting the invasive species – alpine sorrel (Rumex alpinus) were performed on a total area of 48 hectares. This area includes repeated interventions, amongst which there are mowing of areas using scythes and biodegradable pesticide spraying. Restoration of water regime on the meadows took the form of cleaning the ditches in total length of 1.5km. A substantial part of the work of this group was cutting the seeding trees, pruning the edges of meadows due to the availability for machinery and an easier installation of fences. Seeding trees were cut out on 6 hectares of meadows this year. Other activities of the working group include collecting stones and minor adjustments in the terrain.

A part of the project is dedicated to the restoration nardus meadows by creating a plan of prudent farming (activity A4). Based on the analysis, we selected 20 farms that have a high ratio of nardus meadows, where these meadows does not fall under the priority meadow enclaves of Krkonoše (activity C1).

Detailed management, tailored for just one species – gentianella bohemica – was performed on two areas where it grows, one present in Horní Albeřice and one historical in Černý Dol u lomu (activity C6). Action included various measures to disrupt the soil and create conditions for seed germination and growth of new plants.

Monitoring also ran full (activities D). Data collection took place for monitoring the plants and invertebrates and the collection of pilot data for monitoring the bullhead was also completed.
Thanks to the fact that the project took off, we had something to present (activities E). At the beginning of the year, the project and its goals were presented to the KRNAP administration. We had 20 mobile information panels built, which are transported every season to selected meadow enclaves and inform about the basic activities of the project. Due to the heavy promotion of the project, we had to print additional 2600 pieces of leaflets.

The public could learn about the project from various magazines and websites. We published approximately 14 articles.

The LIFE CORCONTICA project was also presented at the Chaloupky seminar. A meeting has been prepared with the organizers of other LIFE projects in Czech Republic to broaden our knowledge about usable procedures of LIFE+ program in order to protect the nature. We also gave several interviews for Czech Radio.