November 17 in Plešivec

Photo by Jindřich Prach

On November 17, 17 people from various Prague schools (hobby group focused on biology organized by Celia Korittová) got out for a short trip to the Český kras area. The aim was a conservational management (in cooperation with the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic). After talking about the beauties of the area, identifying the found biological objects and presenting changes of the landscape and approaches to nature protection (Jindřich Prach from the grant team), they all came to the mosaic of steppes, forest-steppes and thermophilic oak forests, where endangered Adonis vernalis grows.

These patches, now mostly overgrown by shrubs are situated on the southern slope of the Plešivec hill above the famous Karlštejn castle. Hundreds of this yellow-headed famous plant bloom here in the spring, but from the former sparse forest-steppes, probably former-grazing forests, only the driest patches remain, while areas with deeper soil have been overgrown with bushes in recent decades. Adonis thus survives mostly at the edges of the area in the remaining population covered with leaves under the oak trees. 

Adonis vernalis, photo by Jindřich Prach. 

Half-day work with scissors and saws, simulating traditional management such as felling bushes and litter raking, lead to the expansion of grasslands and steppe vegetation. From a diverse mix of participants, from elementary school children to biology-skilled school students, perhaps everyone has at least experienced the need to take care of thermophilic oak forests, steppes and forest-steppes. As here, in a long-populated cultural landscape, has been done for many thousands of years.

Photo by Jindřich Prach