The last couple of months of the project were transitory – from the preparation of documentation to factual restoration works. There are 5 project sites (Malý Bor, Pod Skelnou, Nové Údolí, Devítka a Smrkový vrch) attributed to construction companies for the application of direct restoration measures. The preparatory works, such as cutting the self-seeded trees covering densely the edges of drainage ditches, have already started at all sites, except for Smrkový Vrch. At the end of the winter season and the season of protection of specially protected species (in our project, tetrao urogallus being concerned), which cannot be disturbed by man, and certainly not by any type of heavy noise, the works will continue. A partial removal of self-seeded shrubs and trees has also been done at 3 more sites: Stožecká, Devítka and Gerlova Huť. A very special management of cutting trees was introduced in above-mentioned sites; all „the plots and the trees to be cut“ were chosen carefully, with special attention paid to preserving the compactness of the forest. On one hand, it could not let be open to the wind which might break the solitary trees, but on the other hand, more space for sunbeams was welcomed in order to promote spreading of sphagnum moss to the detriment of dense spruce stand.
Other project sites, such as Gayerrück, Gerlova Huť, Střelecký průsmyk, will soon become subjects to public procurements. If you are a construction company owner, specializing in restoration of water regime, don´t hesitate and subscribe to our call for tenders.
Works on 29 technical documentations describing in detail applied restoration measures have already finished. There have been 9 more sites delivered to Engineering Offices for the preparation of technical documentations and for the 5 remaining sites (situated in the southern and eastern parts of the Šumava Mountains), the calls for bids for TD preparation are in progress. All in all, 43 Czech sites either have, or are going to have the technical documentations prepared soon, with management plans included.
Thanks to nice weather this autumn, we were allowed to organize a number of project events, such as several field trips or voluntary work for mires. At random, we can mention a 4-day working encounter of 25 students from all over the Europe at Haidmühle on Bavarian side; some more Days for mires took place at Hučina, Kepelské Zhůří and Nové Údolí, one working day was organised at Hučina with Arachné, a student association from Prague, and finally, a guided excursion in mires was proposed to public near Nová Pec. With these events, we can declare the year 2019 complete and move on to the next year planning. In February and March 2020, two lectures (named Water lost and found) are already arranged with IC Svinná Lada (at Chalupská slať) and Kvilda. The dates of guided excursions and Days for mires 2020 will be announced in May. We already received some offers for closer cooperation with various associations, the Scout Association, schools and private companies and we are plaesed to know that voluntary work on drained mires stays in the spotlight.
During the autumn, we managed to complete the monitoring design and its actual manifestation in field – there are in total 23 soil moisture sensors with dataloggers, 7 automatic pressure sensors and 17 waterloggers (from which 2 on the Bavarian side) for measuring the water table and water runoff. Monitoring of hydrochemistry in 6 selected profiles at project sites is being implemented each month. All the results are meticulously collected and when they become relevant, they will be clearly displayed on our website or presented in the lectures for public.
The restoration measures on the project sites can affect, directly or indirectly, meadows and grasslands which are extensively used, mowed or grazed. At the end of the year 2019, there was a couple of appointments arranged with farmers, either owners or tenants, in order to reconcile the specific needs of restorations (e. g. machinery transit and deposit of material) with the mowing or grazing. A small part of the restored sites will stay waterlogged to such extent that further agricultural use will no longer be possible and its secondary effect as prevention of expansion of self-seeded trees will cease, too. In such places, we´ll let nature take its course and all those localities will not be used in farming or forestry any more.