New Educational Trail around Hněvošice Grove Nature Reserve
A new educational trail has been opened in the Hněvošický háj (Hněvošice Grove) nature reserve, which lies to the southwest of Hněvošice in the district of Opava. The trail markers, the bridge over the brook, and altogether seven information panels were financed by way of the NET4GAS Closer to Nature programme and built in collaboration with the Czech Union for Nature Conservation.
Hněvošice Grove is a complex of near-pristine forest growth composed of oak hornbeam and acidophilic oak, and is home to important plant and animal species endemic to the Carpathian region (the western edge of which can be found nearby). The area was declared a nature reserve as early as in 1969, but infrastructure for nature-lovers and hikers was only built for the first time in 2009 in the form of six information panels for visitors. In recent years, these were found wanting, with many of the panels sun-bleached and damaged and the texts outdated. This is why the local chapter of the Czech Union for Nature Conservation, "Levrekův ostrov", which has a long history of conservationist work around Opava, decided to rejuvenate the educational trail upon an agreement with municipal representatives of Hněvošice.
Hikers who visit during the appropriate season can look forward, for example, to Hacquetia epipactis and wood spurge in full bloom, or to Isopyrum thalictroides, which blossoms early in spring before the trees sprout new leaves (and which is reminiscent of rue anemones). One also encounters the rare thin-spiked wood sedge, which grows in stands – here scattered, there rich – in ravines in the north-eastern part of the nature reserve (above the fishpond and near the forest track). In the southern part of the reserve, rare mosses have been found: hairless Haussknecht’s atrichum moss, and Brachythecium erythrorhizon. The area serves as nesting grounds for the Eurasian hobby, stock dove, nightingale, and European pied flycatcher, to name a few.
The area is also interesting because of the local settlements, which go back to Neolithic times. Visitors find more detailed archaeological information right along the trail.
The educational trail is circular in shape, for the most part skirting the perimeter of the protected area. Along the way, visitors come across seven info panels, which tell them more about both the past and present of the site. Some of these panels have built-in interactive features. The route is well-marked and about 3.5 kilometres long. The site can be reached via woodland tracks and foot paths from Road No. 46 (Opavská) between the municipalities of Hněvošice and Služovice, as well as from the country lane between Hněvošice and Oldřišov (GPS Coordinates for the Trailhead: 49.9973081N, 17.9970361E).