Velká Homolka: new benches, infopanels and restored cross
Velká Homolka is a place of great interest to natural science, and it is being looked after by the local Šumava / Bohemian Forest chapter of the ČSOP. "Biological field research has taken place here and has yielded some interesting results. Around 180 plant species and several dozen protected animal species can be found here, of which the insect life is the most interesting – in particular the presence of the baton blue butterfly. We from the Bohemian Forest Land Stewardship Club have been mowing the local meadows with scythes and letting sheep graze on them for a couple of years, and we cut back the shrubs and trees that propagate through windborne seeds. We consult with the property owners and closely collaborate with them in all our efforts. On some land plots, we are the tenants. But other plots can, in fact, be bought and are today owned by the ČSOP, thanks to the nation-wide public fundraiser “A Place For Nature", says Jana Zrnová, manager at the local Šumava chapter of the ČSOP.
Three all-new wooden benches have been installed on Velká Homolka, and info panels have been attached to the backrests of these benches which provide information about the past and present of the Big Knoll and its ecological and scientific relevance. The access routes up the slopes have also been restored. Small visitors will appreciate the new wooden memory game depicting animals and plants. Finally, a leaflet with information on the site has been produced which includes a map, making it easy and safe to move about the location. A copy of this leaflet can be picked up at any of the rest areas or downloaded from the internet at www.blizprirode.cz.
In the upper part of Velká Homolka (751 m above sea level), a stone cross dating from 1899 was restored by removing the moss and lichen and by gold-plating the corpus. All work, from making wooden furniture and accessories to repairing the summit cross, was carried out by local artisans who thus proved the mastery of their craft.
"We are happy and proud that the Velká Homolka is already the fourth location within the valuable natural area of Pošumaví, alongside Podlešák's Elm, the Sudslavice Circuit, and Bohumilice Avenue, which ČSOP has made accessible to the general public thanks to the NET4GAS Closer to Nature programme," said Zuzana Kučerová from NET4GAS.