The Súľov hills are famous not only because of picturesque sceneries of rock gates and towers, but also because of a wealth of rare flora and fauna. Among other things, they were known among botanists in the past as a famous botanical site. Unfortunately, that is not entirely true today. Orchid habitats, nutrient-poor pastures on shallow, drying soils, were largely abandoned and overgrown with trees. Thus, we started restoring part of these habitats at the end of winter in 2023, following an agreement with the Strážovské vrchy Protected Area Administration and the local landowner’s community.
The valley of Black brook is an important locality with the occurrence of many rare species of orchids. There was only a small fragment of threatened grass biotopes left here which we restored to an area of about 0.3 hectares and which will be maintained by mowing.
The view of Súľovské skaly also includes grazing sheep. However, today they mainly graze on relatively species-poor pastures, which were created by grassing of former arable land. The remains of the “old” species rich pastures with orchids, are overgrown with invasive trees, as everywhere in Slovakia. We want to change this situation as much as possible, and thus we cleaned the first parts of the territory with leaving of solitary old trees. Sheep obviously like the restored area. This will be followed by clearing of offshoots and stumps and then only grazing and regeneration of colorful grasslands with orchids on a total area of almost 6 hectares.