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RUPICOLOUS - Restoration of thermophilous habitats in the Moravian Karst

LIFE04 NAT/CZ/000015

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Izák Václav
Tel: 543 420 216483

Project description:


Hády Hill, rising to 423 metres above sea level, dominates the landscape to the northeast of Brno, the second largest city in the Czech Republic. The site is situated in the southernmost part of the Moravian Karst, a limestone area of caves and small underground rivers, which is one of the most beautiful and most visited areas in the country. The presence of lime and the flow of the Svratka river, which cuts a deep valley, have contributed to creating the ideal conditions for a high concentration of thermophilous plant species and habitats (i.e those thriving in a warm environment ). Several of these are included in the Habitats Directive: Echium russicum and Pulsatilla grandis (Annex II) and Cypripedium calceolus (Annex V), sub-pannonic steppic grasslands, pannonian white oak woods, pannonian oak hornbeam forests, lime alder forests of slopes, screens and ravines and calcareous screen (all of which are listed in Annex I). Several developments were threatening the unique biodiversity of this area. A move away from traditional agriculture and grazing methods had led to overgrowth on pastures and the invasion of alien species such as black locust (Robinia pseudacacia), common ash (Fraxinus excelsior) and Norway spruce (Picea abies). Furthermore, the priority habitats and species were being endangered by the existence of limestone quarries that gradually destroyed the unique steppe grasslands. Following the closure of the quarry at Hády in 1998, the area was abandoned and had become overgrown.


The project’s main objective was the restoration and sustainable management of some 150 ha of the Hády’s natural and semi-natural vegetation, a haven for some very rare thermophilous plants and habitats. This would be achieved by a series of interrelated actions. For example, in order to safeguard the most endangered flora and fauna, the beneficiary planned to purchase just under 4 ha of land close to the Hády quarry. Following on from this some 50 ha of abandoned pastures with occurrences of sub-Pannonic steppic grasslands would be restored and the traditional grazing re-established. In practical terms, restoration actions would target the removal of invasive tree species, in particular, black locust (Robinia pseudacacia) and scrub, and the introduction of an appropriate grazing management. Because of the important visitor load, hiking trails were to be restored and a CD produced to disseminate information on the fauna, flora, and management of the biotopes and species.


The project was successful and its achievements have gone beyond what was expected at the outset – i.e. some 12 ha of land in and around the Hády quarry was bought from the mining company, Českomoravský Cement. The two Annex II priority plant species Echium russicum and Pulsatilla grandis now grow on this land. To favour the expansion of the dry grassland habitats and white oak forests, invasive species (in particular black locust and common ash) were eliminated over 56 ha ( the original proposal was for 25 ha). The natural succession of the vegetation was encouraged by planting seedlings of oak, lime tree, sycamore and common maple. Traditional grazing was also successfully re-established to maintain the grasslands and woodlands. On a small (2 ha) area, Norway spruce trees were removed in order to restore the lime alder forests of slopes, screens and ravines and calcareous screens of hill and montane levels in lower parts of the valley.

The project also produced a good quality leaflets and a brochure. Both the project website and the DVD which feature valuable information about the Moravian Karst (project area).

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Conservation Plan (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Industry-Production - Mining - Quarrying
Habitats - Grasslands


botanical conservatory‚  ecotourism‚  environmental impact of agriculture‚  environmental impact of tourism‚  forest ecosystem‚  grassland ecosystem‚  grazing‚  landscape conservation policy‚  site rehabilitation‚  public awareness campaign‚  tourist facility‚  forest management‚  touristic zone‚  land restoration‚  land purchase‚  restoration measure‚  pest control

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • COM(2001)162 -"Biodiversity Action Plan for the conservation of natural resources (vol. I & II)" ...
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...
  • Decision 93/626 - Conclusion of the Convention on Biological Diversity (25.10.1993)
  • COM(98)42 -"Communication on a European Community Biodiversity Strategy" (05.02.1998)

Target species

 Echium russicum   Pulsatilla grandis   

Target Habitat types

  • 8160 - Medio-European calcareous scree of hill and montane levels
  • 9180 - "Tilio-Acerion forests of slopes, screes and ravines"
  • 91G0 - Pannonic woods with Quercus petraea and Carpinus betulus
  • 91H0 - Pannonian woods with Quercus pubescens
  • 40A0 - Subcontinental peri-Pannonic scrub
  • 6190 - Rupicolous pannonic grasslands (Stipo-Festucetalia pallentis)
  • 6110 - Rupicolous calcareous or basophilic grasslands of the Alysso-Sedion albi
  • 6210 - Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia) (* important orchid sites)
  • 6240 - Sub-Pannonic steppic grasslands

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator The local Chapter of Czech Union for Nature Conservation
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description The Czech Union for Nature Conservation's local section (chapter) Land Trust Hády is a non-governmental and non-profit organisation established in 2000. The principle incentive to form this organization was an effort to preserve the natural resources of the botanically and zoologically notable site of Hády, near Brno. After the local chapter of the society for nature conservation had been established, it constructed two nature education trails, Kavky and Růženin's Quarry, open from spring until autumn for students from elementary and secondary schools as well as for university students. Other activities by the Land Trust are the maintenance of protected areas and of the rare species of plants and animals. A network of nature trails for the public was under construction in 2003 around the Hády plateau and the valley of the rive Řička.
Partners None


Project reference LIFE04 NAT/CZ/000015
Duration 01-OCT-2004 to 31-DEC -2007
Total budget 549,675.00 €
EU contribution 412,256.00 €
Project location Associated Czech (CZ)(Czech Cesko)


Read more:

Leaflet "Spolupráce při péči o významaná evropská stanoviš ...
Leaflet "Projekt LIFE Nature 2004-07 : Péče o teplomilné b ...
Project web site Project's website
Publication: After-LIFE Conservation Plan After-LIFE Conservation Plan (EN)
Publication: Layman report Layman report (EN)
Publication: Layman report Layman report (CZ)
Video link "Natura 2000 v Ceské republice" (19')


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version