Conference field trips

Mid-Conference Excursions – alternatives:

All excursions, except no. 5, are planned for the whole day (Wednesday 14 October 2015.). Each excursion participant will obtain a short excursion guide and packed lunch.

1. Fishponds of Třeboň, their management and conservation of their bird fauna. Whole day: explanation of the management of both large (up to 500 ha) and small (even less than 1 ha) fishponds stocked predominantly with Common Carp. They form the core of the largest freshwater fishery enterprise in the EU while being also situated in a Biosphere Reserve of UNESCO. History of Central European fishpond management and its concurrently changing impacts on whole fishpond ecosystems, also including impacts on breeding or migratory birds and the rare vegetation colonizing emerged shores and bottoms of fishponds during their periodical summer drawdown. Demonstration of the fish harvest from a fishpond after its almost complete drawdown. Visit to the permanent exhibition of the Třeboň Basin Biosphere Reserve in the chateau of Třeboň.

2. Třeboň Basin Biosphere Reserve (BR) and Třeboň Fishponds Ramsar Site (RS). Whole-day tour of a large (700 km2) Biosphere Reserve of UNESCO and Protected Landscape Area (according to Czech legislation) in which several groupings of fishponds constitute the RS. At stops, demonstration of various wetland and aquatic ecosystems (fishponds, floodplain, mire, flooded sand pit) within the BR; their management, conservation and interactions with other landscape components, including agricultural land. Demonstration of the fish harvest from a fishpond after its almost complete drawdown. Visit to the permanent exhibition of the Třeboň Basin BR in the chateau of Třeboň.

3. Třeboň Peatlands Ramsar Site. Morning: visit to the Červené blato (Red Bog) National Nature Reserve, a typical example of lowland mires of South Bohemia. History of both former and present exploitation of the local peat and former economically motivated drainage of mires. Conservation and restoration of mires affected by those two disturbances in the past. Afternoon: visit to the Třeboň branch of the Czech Academy’s of Sciences Institute of Botany, with one of the largest European collections of live temperate wetland and aquatic plants. Demonstration of rescue cultivation and subsequent reintroduction of their endangered species to suitable sites.

4. Stropnice River and UnterWasserReich Schrems. Morning: demonstration of the restoration of a straightened river and of its reintroduction to the original river bed. Attempt to restore the water regime and plant and animal species diversity in the adjacent floodplain meadows. Afternoon: visit to the UnterWasserReich, the visitor centre of the Nature Park Hochmoor Schrems (Schrems Bog), in the Waldviertel (Forest Quarter) district of Lower Austria. An indoor exhibition of live aquatic animals and plants and an outdoor water-garden including a European otter compound. The adjacent Nature Park Hochmoor Schrems provides an example of a Waldviertel raised bog.

5. Vrbenské rybníky (Fishponds of Vrbné) Nature Reserve, situated in a suburban recreation area of České Budějovice. A half-day (morning) excursion. Walking tour with explanation of conservation measures applicable to fishponds which are used primarily for commercial fish rearing. Demonstration of the reserve management for biodiversity, especially of birds. Some time will be reserved for bird watching – binoculars are recommended. Cancelled.

6. Hluboká chateau and surroundings. Morning: visit to an ancient castle completely rebuilt to an up-to date aristocratic residence –chateau – in the 19th century. The chateau hosts rich artistic collections, e.g. of old Brussels tapestries, and its former “orangerie” now serves as a museum with a precious collection of Gothic paintings and statues, mainly from South Bohemia. Afternoon: short bus tour through the surrounding park-like landscape shaped as an English park in 18th and 19th centuries – a combination of mutually interacting agricultural land, wetlands, fishpond systems, tree plantations and forests. The tour will be completed by a visit to a baroque former hunting lodge, now a museum demonstrating the history of local agriculture, fish farming and forest management. Cancelled.

7. Český Krumlov castle and town, Holašovice village – UNESCO´s World Heritage sites. Morning: visit to a mediaeval castle adapted to an aristocratic residence in 16th century, situated above the Vltava River and overlooking a town with predominating 16th century houses, mansions and a Gothic church. Afternoon: Walking tour of the town followed by a visit to an example of a South Bohemian village with well-preserved or restored 19th century folk architecture. It is the site where the “Bartered Bride“ opera by Bedřich Smetana was filmed.