The Šumava National Park together with the Bavarian Forest National Park and surrounding areas form a significant Central European territory with substantial areal representation of peaty and mire biotopes. The whole territory is rich in priority mire habitats and represents a considerable component of the Natura 2000 European network. A substantial part of the wetlands on the Czech side of Šumava (more than 50 %) have been negatively impacted by systematic landscape draining and commercial peat excavation. This has damaged the local hydrology, reduced the water-retaining capacity, and afflicted the ecological balance in the peat bogs, with resulting lower species diversity and advancing effects of the climatic change (impacts of extreme drought periods and floods).
The goal of this project is to improve the natural condition of degrading peat bogs and other mires and wetlands and to renew the natural water regime over an area of 2,059 hectares. Field activities will be carried out on both sides of the state border and include, for instance, blocking and refilling about 80 kilometres of drainage channels and the restoration of 13 kilometres of natural streams. The project also comprises a large number of activities for the general public, aimed at informing local inhabitants as well as tourists, and raising awareness about the importance of wetlands for the landscape and its inhabitants.
Other goals include:
– Innovations in the monitoring of the effects of restorations on the water quality, flow conditions, vegetation, groundwater level, and soil humidity;
– Development of methods to monitor the possible effects of restoration to mitigate the consequences of climatic change;
– Direct public involvement in the restoration of peat bogs, and the development of demonstration facilities revitalised near human settlements;
– Sharing and presentation of expertise and experience gained in the restoration of peat bogs and landscape hydrology.