Treasures of the forest floor in the Przemsza area

In our forests one can find such delicious species of mushrooms as Xerocomus, boletus, Suillus, saffron milk cap and parasol mushroom. Suillus is characteristic of the forests surrounding the Błędowska Desert (and it appears on the desert as well). The local area is also a paradise for lovers of berry and wild strawberry picking. Just a few meters from the main road there are whole carpets of these delicious fruits. In the woods near Jaroszowiec, you can find almost all types of forest fruits (berries, bilberries, raspberries, blackberries) and plenty of mushrooms (species such as Leccinum, boletus, Suillus, chanterelles, parasol mushrooms etc.)

The fresh forest air carries the scent of resin, sometimes mushrooms and then the walk turns into a hunt for these tasty gifts of the forest. On the way, we can also find great tasting and very aromatic raspberries and blackberries but if we crouch down a bit, we will spot a sweet-smelling carpet of wild strawberries and berries.

Forests in the Przemsza area are a great place for recreation, walking, horse riding and mushroom picking.

The forests cover more than 37% of the Bolesław commune. Pine forests, mostly forty years old, prevail here. Quite a large area of the region is occupied by young birch woods, usually not older than twenty years, growing on poor as well as more fertile sands. The species of plants occurring on the ground cover of the forest include wood small-reed, grey hair-grass, wild thyme,  Koeleria glauca, Mouse-ear Hawkweed and on the more fertile sands apart from wood small-reed and wild thyme  there grow grassland species – sea pink, Carthusian pink,  bladder campion, Gypsophila fastigiata, Sheep's Fescue and orchids.

The Bolesław woods are also a paradise for mushroom pickers. Almost all roads from Bolesław lead to places like the "Podlasie" clearing in Krzykawa, the forests bordering the Błędowska Desert near Hutki, the woods near lime kilns between Bolesław and Olkusz, or the area behind the sawmill in Krzykawka, in all these places Suillus and Leccinum occur in abundance.

Most of the mushroom pickers, also from outside the region, are attracted by the extensive forests in the Klucze commune. Due to their unique taste and aroma, the local mushrooms are considered by many as a treat.

The forests in the Przemsza area are diverse in terms of species composition which includes fir, beech, spruce, pine, oak and larch. The wooded areas, which boast rich flora and fauna, play an important role in the preservation of natural and landscape values ​​that influence the development of tourism.  They form a land of extraordinary contrasts. One can come across, concentrated in one place, species usually occurring on areas very distant from each other. None of the other Polish regions can boast a greater diversity of flora and fauna, including endemic and relict species, which have their only site in Poland here. 

Due to the wealth of natural areas in the Przemsza region new natural reserves are created. One of them is a future reserve named Ostrysz, which will cover 54.4 ha. The area boasts an interesting mosaic of plant species, from moist riparian forests at the ravine bottom to warm beech forests higher on the valley slopes and xerothermic grasslands, typical of the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland in the more exposed rock areas in the southern and western parts. Such grasslands are communities of various plant species, preferring dry, warm and sunny sites. They function as sanctuary to rare plants and invertebrate animals. Such species often occur in the northern and western areas of the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland, normally being typical of the Balkans or the Black Sea steppes.

The upland mixed forests with rich undergrowth consist of many species of trees such as fir, beech, pine, spruce as well as oak and larch. Locally, for example in the nature reserve "Michałowiec" in the Trzyciąż commune, one can find thermophilic orchid beech forests rich in plant species, as many as 18 of which are legally protected, including 13 species under total protection (e.g.: orchid, lady slipper orchid, Greater Butterfly-orchid, mezereon, Broad-leaved Helleborine, snowdrop, Common Ivy, Bird's-nest Orchid).  Equally interesting are mixed stands with predominant fir trees (forest complex in the vicinity of the Zagórowa village) and riparian forests with patches of orchid beech woods and xerothermic vegetation on rocky edges. The wooded areas have valuable function as they are primarily water and soil protection forests.

Between the villages of Trzyciąż, Zagórowa and Glanów, there is a small complex of woods, spreading over the hills, towering over the southern bank of the Dłubnia river. Due to a mixed forest with a large fir population, typical for the Jurassic upland, a natural reserve of ca. 116 ha is being established here. The area of the future reserve is crossed by the Dłubnia bicycle route in the segment between Trzyciąż and the Zagórowa historic settlement. The walking Trail of Jurassic Strongholds, marked in blue, crosses the Dłubnia valley bottom, further turning up north, in the direction of Glanów.

The forests in the surrounding area of the Zagórowa village are a paradise for mushroom pickers who, during a short walk, can come across beautiful specimens of mushrooms such as boletus, Xerocomus and Leccinum species.

Situated in the Trzyciąż commune and stretching over the surface of 12.6 ha, the “Michałowiec” flower reserve is the only such reserve in the Eagle Nests Landscape Park area. It was established to protect and preserve the population of the Carpathian beech as well as a diverse population of orchids. One of the most beautiful orchid species in Poland, to be found in the reserve area, is the Cypripedium calculus lady’s slipper (the image of which is in the Trzyciąż commune emblem). Although it was a very common plant in the south part of the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland just about a century ago, due to its beauty it was often picked and collected. Hence nowadays, it is to be found only in a few sites. Another important thing is the protection of the beech wood structure. The reserve qualified as protected area in the NATURA 2000 system, to protect not only Polish, but also European natural heritage.

The Michałowiec reserve lies at some distance from popular tourist trails, between the villages Jangrot and Michałówka, near the Jangrot-Cieplice War Cemetery.

"Pazurek" reserve covering 185 ha is located in the Olkusz commune. The area is diverse in terms of terrain and limestone rock formations. The Reserve protects over 290 species of mountain flora, including 21 species protected by law (like hart's-tongue fern Phyllitis scolopendrium and ramsons Allium ursinum). There is an educational trail leading through the protected area available for tourists. The reserve encloses Januszkowa Mountain which hides one of the deepest caves of the Polish Kraków-Częstochowa Jurassic Upland – Januszkowa Szczelina. This is the second cave in terms of difficulty level with the total length of 180 meters.

There are plans for the future to create a separate reserve of Januszkowa Góra that will cover 36 ha and 56 ha of buffer zone. The reserve will protect 12 rock shelters and caves, 180 vascular plants, including 26 species protected by law (including a rare mushroom – Giant puffball).

In the area of Ocland in beech, spruce and oak forests and the nearby meadows one can find raspberries, wild strawberries, blackberries, blackthorn, wild rose, briar, hawthorn and mushrooms (champignons, parasol mushrooms, chanterelles, boletuses).

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