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ZAPOZNAJ SIĘ Z NASZĄ OFERTĄ CIEKAWYCH KONKURSÓW I OLIMPIAD

In 1999 Opole provincial governor issued a directive to establish Stobrawski Landscape Park extending on 52 636.5 ha. The Park covers the area of twelve municipalities: Dobrzeń Wielki, Dąbrowa, Kluczbork, Lasowice Wielkie, Lewin Brzeski, Lubsza, Łubniany, Murowa, Pokój, Popielowa, Świerczowa and Wołczyn.

It is located in the basins of the Stobrawa, Budkowiczanka, Bogacica, Brynica, and Smortawa Rivers. In the South the Park’s border runs along the Oder and then cuts it through near Mikolin and Nysa Kłodzka. And these are the river basins where visitors can find the park fragments of the greatest natural interest. The areas of broadleaved and riparian forests, marshy meadows, and old river beds overgrown by water and marshy vegetation, all situated along the Oder, are the gems of the Park. The valleys of the remaining rivers create a beautiful mosaic of meadows, fields, afforested areas, clusters of bushes, and the network of irrigation channels. These spots together with fish breeding ponds are also the refugia for many rare animal species (mainly for birds) as well as plants.

Forest communities predominate in the Park, and the pine coniferous forests cover the greatest area. The subatlantic fresh coniferous forests grow on numerous dunes reaching 20 m of height, whereas small patches of the wet oak wood and continental marshy coniferous forest growing along water courses and on former peat bogs. Although the major part of the park is covered by pine monocultures, some small fragments of ancient, almost 200-year old forests also occur. Deciduous forests occur mainly in the valleys of the Oder, Stobrawa, and Smortawa Rivers. And first of all, these are broadleaved forests of transitional character between the Central-European and subcontinental type as well as ash and alder, ash and elm, very rare and valuable willow and poplar riparian forests. The marshy settlements of river valleys, e.g. in the vicinity of Rybna, Popielowa, Zielenieć, and Pieczyska are home for alder trees, whereas the fertile lowland beech woods occur in Lubsza and its surroundings. Stobrawski Landscape Park includes also very interesting water communities, especially those with water caltrop and floating fern which are most valuable and worth preservation.

The Park abounds with 41 species of legally protected plants, 16 species on the Polish red list and about 130 species of rare species. The royal fern, common sundew, February daphne, Turk's cap lily, tiny mousetail, Lindernia procumbens, 7 species of the orchidaceae family (such as the common spotted orchid and violet helleborine) as well as water plants are the most interesting representatives of the afore-mentioned species. The water caltrop, whose leaves make characteristic rosettes on the water, and the floating fern grow in the old river beds of the Oder valley. From among the protected and rare plants 13 species are included on the “List of threatened plants in Poland”, and three of them (floating fern, water caltrop, and Lindernia procumbens) were included on the list of protected plants by virtue of the Berne Convention. Five species are included in the Polish Red Data Book of Plants.

The area of the landscape park significantly distinguishes itself with its fauna against other parts of great natural interests in Opole Province. 250 protected species of animals (including 165 species of birds) reproduce and live here. This group includes 47 species from the national red lists and 18 species which are globally near threatened. The broadleaved tree forests in the Oder and Nysa Kłodzka valleys and near fish ponds contribute greatly to the abundance of fauna in the park. They provide shelter for many species of animals, which are hard to be found anywhere else. These are the black and red kites (the symbol of the Park), lesser spotted eagle, middle spotted woodpecker, collared flycatcher and red-breasted flycatcher, and the forest dormouse.

The fish ponds provide shelter for a large group of water birds, such as the great bittern and little crake. The white-tailed eagles hunt at the Oder and on fish ponds all year long. Such species as the black stork, crane, green sandpiper, and boreal owl nest in the forests of the Park. The elk occurs in the forests of Brzeg Forestry Commission. The meadows of the inter-embankment zones of the Oder and Nysa Kłodzka Rivers offer great abundance of plants and animals and thus great natural value. Three rare species of butterflies occur in this area and these are the large copper and dusky large blue. The old river beds provide shelter for the swan mussel, medicinal leeches, and numerous amphibians, including the European fire-bellied toad. Also the valleys of smaller rivers such as Budkowiczanka River are attractive as they are inhabited by otters, beavers, and grey wagtails.

Today, Stobrawski Landscape Park encompasses four nature reserves, 8 ecological sites, one nature and landscape complex, and 53 natural monuments.

The Oder Broadleaved Forests Special Bird Protection Area, Barucickie Forests as well as the Meadows of Karłowice by the Stobrawa River Special Habitat Protection Area were outlined within the nature protection area Natura 2000. The Oder Broadleaved Forests Special Bird Protection Area encompasses the valley of the Oder between Dobrzeń Mały and Wrocław. A great part of this refugium belongs to Stobrawski Landscape Park. This area protects rare species of birds such as black and red kites, collared flycatcher, middle spotted woodpecker, grey-headed woodpecker, or corncrake and their habitats, thus broadleaved and riparian forests, water meadows and old river beds. Barucickie Forests Special Protection Areas includes a complex of well-preserved broadleaved forests located in Smortawa valley. The area is significant as it serves to protect the species of beetles: the great capricorn beetle and the hermit beetle. The Meadows of Karłowice by Stobrawa River Special Habitat Protection Area includes a complex of meadows located in Stobrawa valley and spread on several hundred hectares. The complex was established to maintain the population of the protected butterfly species such as the scarce large blue, dusky large blue, and large copper.

All existing nature reserves belong to Brzeg Forestry Commission and Lubsza Commune. Forest Water Reserve protects a part of a natural mixed coniferous forest with predominating beech and pine trees (one of the beech trees was acknowledged to be a natural monument). A little reserve called Rogalice preserves a varied broadleaved forests with spruce trees. 

Lubsza Reserve surely is the most beautiful and easily accessible reserve. Located on the road from Brzeg to Namysłów, it attracts visitors with old specimen of beech trees. The reserve overlaps the former Silesian Forest and some of its parts maintained old-forest nature. It is a homeland for rare species of birds such as the stock dove, grey-headed woodpecker and collared flycatcher.

The Barucice Nature Reserve was established at the beginning of 2010. The reserve has exceptionally rich fauna and flora. The protected area is home to 11 species of preserved plants and numerous rare species. The most important are: common spotted orchid, lesser butterfly-orchid, broad-leaved helleborine, twayblade, February daphne, liverwort, common toothwort, great masterwort, drooping bittercress, coralroot bittercress. 33 species of protected animals, most of which are birds, can be found in the reserve.  Among these special attention should be paid to black woodpecker, middle spotted woodpecker, grey-headed woodpecker, collared flycatcher, goshawk, golden oriole and raven.

The best-known ecological site Goose Pond is a picturesque oxbow lake located in a forest on the bank of the Oder, south of the Wielopole Village in Popielów Commune. Visitors can find there such species of flora as water caltrop, yellow waterlily, European white waterlily. The other ecological sites are: Rdestnica, meaning pondweed (oxbow lake with protected water species), Riparia (embankment of Nysa Kłodzka with nests of sand martin), Pond at the Memorial (waterholes in the former sand excavation pits in the Oder valley), Ponds on Nysa Banks (oxbow lakes with wetlands in Nysa Kłodzka valley), On Nysa Banks (oxbow lake in Nysa Kłodzka valley), Eagle-Owl (meadow in Budkowiczanka valley with rare species of plants and animals), Jagienieckie Meadows (broad meadows in forest). The only nature and landscape complex within the nature reserve, that is the Nysa Valley near Wronów complex, contains numerous oxbow lakes, waterholes, wetlands and broad-leaved forests on areas in Nysa Kłodzka Valley.  Natural monuments in Stobrawski Landscape Park cover single trees, groups of trees or avenues of trees. Usually these are English oaks and beeches. The most interesting monuments are the oak alley on the road from Karłowice to Stobrawa and the eight huge oak trees growing along the road in Nowa Bogacica. It is also worth seeing the oak tree named Klara near the Goose Pond, as this tree is a part of a legend about a girl who unhappily had fallen in love.

The Landscape Park is very interesting not only because of its nature. It holds numerous villages and towns rich in listed building and national heritage sites. One of the most interesting sites is the settlement situated in the very heart of the park – Pokój, which was established in the middle of the 18th century by the Duke of Württemberg, Charles Christian Erdmann. It was initially a small forest settlement, however, it quickly turned into a well-functioning town (but without town privileges, so it is still considered a village). A masonry castle was built, and then a French formal garden and an English landscape park with ponds and a vineyard were created around the castle. Many architectural elements from that era have been preserved to this day. In the centre of the town one can admire the cemetery and Evangelical church from the second half of the 18th century and the rectory of the Evangelical-Augsburg parish from the second half of the 19th century. In the northern part of the town, on the edge of the forest, is a mysterious, overgrown Jewish cemetery.

Still, one of the most interesting sites are the somewhat neglected French garden and English park. In addition to the interesting, often very old specimens of ornamental trees and shrubs, there are also the remains of the park figures and monuments, the best known of which is the lion figure made of cast iron in 1863. The beech island on the small pond holds a surprise - the ruins of the so-called tea salon erected in 1777. To the south of Winna Góra, near the road from Opole to Namyslów, another exceptional building can be found – the “Matilda's Temple”. It was founded in 1827 by Duke Eugen of Württemberg, who wished to honour this way his wife Matilda who died at the age of 25 and their son William, who died one day after his mother. Hidden behind trees and shrubs, not far away, visitors will get to a rotunda with a tunnel, formerly known as “Elisium”. History has it that Duke Eugene had a panoramic landscape painted there for his second wife – Helene. The Duchess would take a walk in the park and use the underground tunnel to get into the rotunda, where she would see the landscape of her homeland.

Among the many interesting cultural site in Stobrawski Landscape Park special attention should be paid to the old roadside inn from the 18th century, located in the forest between Pokój and Grabice - the so-called “Wolf Kennel”. Next to it there is a small chapel, which stands on the site of a previous 18th-century church. The village of Zagwiździe is another interesting site with the facilities of a former, 18th century ironworks founded by King Frederick II of Prussia. A water-powered forge, belonging to the ironworks, is made available for sightseeing. Strolling through the forest to the south of Ładza village you will find a monument of Wilhelm Müller, a German forester murdered by poachers in 1925.

The park also contains a few sacral building of interest. These include a wattle-and-daub church build from 1786-90 in Radomierowice.

An interesting story is linked to the chapel called “Studzionka” [little well] situated in the woods north of Dąbrówka Łubniańska. The name comes from the well placed in that chapel, as its water has been famous for its miraculous healing properties in the neighbouring area since the 18th century. In Karłowice one should visit the castle complex which consists of a medieval, gradually rebuilt castle, a park and a moat encircling the site. The castle was built in the 14th century by the noble Bess family, but in the 17th century it became the property of the Piast dynasty from Brzeg. You should also pay attention to hard-to-find medieval settlements – Slavic forts built on hills with their central, hilltop part encircled by a moat and a rampart. A number of such settlements can be found in the park, for example one is placed in Murów, another one has been discovered west of Krzywa Góra, and another one is located north of Krogulna.

The borders of Stobrawski Landscape Park are not less interesting in terms of cultural richness. The best-known town is Brzeg with its renaissance castle of Brzeg dukes. However, palace complexes and manor houses can be also found in numerous villages bordering with Stobrawski Landscape Park, though not all of such buildings have been preserved well: Mikolin (1771), Starościn (17th/18th century), Wronów (19th century), Łosiów (the turn of the 19th and 20th century), Bąkowice (1800), Tuły (the 18th century), Lewin Brzeski (1722) and Minkowskie (18th century). The most interesting sacral facilities in the neighbourhood of the park are: wooden churches in Popielów (the 18th century), Bąkowice (the 14th century), Laskowice (1686), Bierdzany (the 16th century) and Gierałcice (the 15th century), the wattle-and-daub church in Kościerzyce (the turn of the 14th and 15th century), a wooden bell tower in Lubnów (19th century) and numerous roadside chapels.

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