Brno Residents Increasingly Involved In Caring For Forests

The various projects organised by foresters involve more and more people taking care of green spaces. Photo credit: Freepik.

Brno, 21 Aug (BD) – The forests of Brno’s Mendel University are located north of the city and, due to their species diversity, are better able to withstand the effects of climate change. However, the foresters have to carry out planting programs that many locals do not understand. For this reason, years ago the foresters decided to involve the residents more closely. “This way they understand the functions of the forest, the difficulties of cultivation activities and appreciate nature more,” said Tomáš Vrška, director of the Masaryk Forest Křtiny school forestry enterprise.

The long-term programme ‘Our Colourful Forest’ is becoming increasingly popular and in demand. Several primary schools (Vranov, Jedovnice, Ostrov u Macochy), a group of citizens from Útěchov and a private company with its employees have already joined. “After being allocated a piece of forest of about 0.2 hectares, the people involved clear it of brushwood and build a fence to protect it from wild animals. Then, usually in the autumn, the actual tree-planting takes place, and in the summer of the following year we remove the beech tree by trampling it or cutting it down. Also in the autumn, we improve the planting by planting new seedlings in place of those that did not take root,” said Petra Packová, forest educator at ŠLP Křtiny.

This is done repeatedly over a period of seven years until the so-called culture is ensured, i.e. the state in which the young saplings have grown back thanks to the influence of game and forest meat. “From then on, people are forever bound to their forest, as the average forest age of 100 years outlives them and their descendants. The key aspect we see in this project is longevity, where everyone can see if what they have planted is growing and how fast. They will experience the rigour of forestry work,” said Packova.

The second most popular project is the patronage of the vast network of wells and monuments within the so-called Nightingale forest. “We are approached by literally entire companies, families, friends or even senior citizens who remember the site from their childhood. We deal with routine maintenance, removal of fallen leaves and branches, collection of rubbish, but also with more demanding requests from companies, who want to put in a new bench, modify the reservoir under the well, or even co-finance the tracing of the spring and the restarting of the well, especially in cases where water has been lost due to the long drought. We have several dozen wells and maintaining them is very demanding, so we are happy to receive any help,” Packová added.

The school forestry enterprise Masaryk Forest Křtiny is part of Mendel University, a special-purpose facility of its Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology. The educational forest covers an area of 10,205 hectares and forms a continuous complex immediately adjacent to the northern edge of Brno to the city of Blansko. The forests are located at an altitude of 210 to 574 metres and are characterised by a considerable variety of natural conditions. Currently, deciduous trees predominate, with a proportion of approximately 65 per cent, and their share has been increasing in recent years.

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