|CULS Forest Establishment at Kostelec n.C.l.
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Czech republic
The first reference to Kostelec n.C.l. comes from 1344. Deep forests surrounded this small village. They consisted especially of coniferous tree species such as spruce (Picea abies) and fir (Abies alba). There were plenty of wildlife - roe deer, pheasants, hazel-grouses, wild boars, partridges etc.
Kostelec's castle was built in the 14th century. Up to now only tiny original parts were preserved - right arc parts in front of the castle. Contemporary shape is the result of several reconstructions. Kostelec was acclaimed as town in 1489.
In 1558 Mr. Jaroslav Smiricky acquired kostelec's manor and established here family seat. He enlarged the manor by purchasing of other estates. Significance of forest ownership was for possessors more important with respect to hunting than timber production. In those days timber sources was reasonable and wood was not especially appreciated. However other parts of our country showed deficiency in timber reserves. Poor stage of roads was the main reason of impossible transportation in longer ways.
The wood served by that time the purposes of cattle, sheep and pig feeding. Foremost grounds feed were acorns and beechnuts. Livestock grazing was for a long time insensitive interference with natural environment. The grazing was prohibited afterwards.
The landscape pattern was altered significantly during the Thirty Years' War. A lot of villages and manors were burned out. More than two-thirds of fields were not covered, the percentage of wasteland increased. War consequences were serious: 3600 ha of wasteland in 1654. Number of livestock decreased rapidly while count of wildlife animals increased.After Jan Adam Ondrej von Liechtenstein's death, Terezie Antonie Felicitas - his daughter - (duchess from Savoy-Carignan) become an owner of kostelec's manor. This person was important in relation to creation of the largest liechtenstein holding in Bohemia. Duchess from Savoy accomplished the castle reconstruction at Kostelec n.C.l. The castle has been preserved in the same shape up to now.
Hunting was very popular by that time. First reference to kostelec's game preserve comes from 1713. Fallow deer keeping and red deer management were widely used. There was a high number of big game in the end of 18th century - 16 pieces of deers/1000 ha, 80 pices of roe deers/1000 ha.
The sowing and forest planting was used for reforestation works since 1754. The plants from crowded natural seeding (natural regeneration) were used for the meeting of such reason. Timber thefts prevention and livestock grazing protection were improved. Channels around the forests were dug out and young-growth stands were protected due to fencing.
In 1934 nationalized Liechtenstein manor was passed on administration of the Czech Technical University in Prague. The grounds of forest enterprise's estate included former integrated Liechtenstein manor comprising 4462 ha of woodland, the castle at Kostelec n.C.l. and a fish pond cascade at Jevany. Since 1935 University Forest Establishment is serving the purposes of University research and practical student training
Since 1936 forest regeneration didn't make use of clear cuttings. Small-scale management was prefered. This provision was admitted under command of Prof.Ing.Dr.Josef Sigmond.
Another important terminus in forestry management of University Forest enterprise was the establishment of National Nature Reserve Voderadske buciny (beechwood with natural tree species composition) in 1955. The Faculty of Forestry and Environment investigate this area from various points of view. There are more permanent research plots in kostelec's forests besides those in national nature reserve. Prof.Ing.Dr.Josef Sigmond and Prof.Ing.Dr.Vilibald Ševčík have established some of them in 1939.
After 1945, additional land was acquired; so contemporary land area reaches 7146 ha, which consists of woodland (7003ha), ponds and other water surfaces (72 ha), farming land (37 ha), built-up areas and other sites (32 ha). The Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague holds 5630 ha of land. Another 1061 ha is leased from private owners and communes.
Fish pond cascade consists of 10 ponds:Pozar, Lounovak, Parez, Vyzlovan, Jan, Svejcar, Jevanak, Pilsky and 2 ponds in Pencice. Fruitlet ponds were established in Pencice during the 2nd world war. Fish management is focused mainly on breeding of carp, tench with additional fish species: pike, amur, pikeperch, eel and sheat fish.