Foto: Vojta Herout, www.nafotime.cz
Landscape Element Holice Forest
Until recently, intensively managed agricultural land surrounded the south of Olomouc, which caused increased dustiness that bothered the local community. The landscape was arid and could not cope with heavy rains and it wasn’t a nice place to take a walk.
The situation changed in 2008 with the idea of planting a new forest – the Holice forest. More than 1,000 local residents supported the project through a petition. A local NGO called Spolek pro Holický les was also established. There is now a natural area with a quiet sports and recreational zone covering more than 34 hectares. It is a beautiful place for a walk, a bike ride as well as roller skating. Large meadows surrounded by woods encourage everybody to spend time in nature. Holice forest is also part of the city flood protection.
The Adaptation Journey
The positive impact
The aim of the planting was to reduce dust levels in the south of Olomouc and to prepare the area for recreation. After planting trees and shrubs and sowing meadows, the temperature and dust in the entire area dropped compared to the intensively farmed fields with its unsuitable crops. The ability of the landscape to cope with torrential rains and rapid floods has also improved. The Holice Forest landscape element has reduced the effect of thermal bridges, which normally increase the risk of long-term drought.
How does it work?
Almost 73,000 trees and 2,000 shrubs were planted on the site of the originally intensively farmed land. Oaks, lindens, hornbeams, elms, alders and maples are gradually growing here. The continuous vegetation now covers an area of 14 and a half hectares. Wildflower meadow species mixed with regional herbs have been sown in other areas. Solitary trees and tree avenues also grow here - 44 mature trees have already been planted; 456 more trees are to be planted as replacement plantings by various companies. The entire Holice Forest covers an area of 34.5 hectares and creates a necessary green area between the city's industrial zones.
The site was previously an intensively farmed and heavily dried up agricultural landscape with a huge loss of soil humus. Potentially, another industrial zone was to be built on the site, or the land would have been sold.
Operation and maintenance
The maintenance of the Holice Forest costs an average of 700,000 crowns per year. This includes the maintenance of forest-based plantings in the fenced-off areas and the groups of shrubs outside the fenced-off areas, as well as the maintenance of the meadow.
Why was the measure chosen?
Part of the city council wanted to create another industrial zone on the site or sell the land. In the end, however, they managed to defend the idea of the Holice Forest.
Obstacles and challenges
The coordination of the conditions and deadlines of the subsidy titles with the financial capacity of the city made the decisions of the self-government and state administration difficult.
Operation and maintenance
It was not anticipated how severely depleted and devastated through the intensive agricultural management the landscape would be. The soil was oversaturated with industrial fertilizers and pesticide residues, which resulted in the slow growth of newly planted vegetation after planting. Therefore, not only soil conditioner but also mycorrhiza was used during plantings.
How much did it cost?
The total costs were CZK 3,491,316. 85 percent of the required amount was covered by subsidies from the Operational Program Environment. This was a non-investment project; the return and savings have not been quantified.
Urban greenery Heat waves and thermal island Lesy