Site name and code: Dolina Budkowiczanki (Szumirad) PLh160020
Sites of Community Importance since 2013.
Area: 99,1 ha
Administrative location: Opole voivodeship, in Kluczbork county.
Dolina Budkowiczanki is a small, mostly forested fragment of the river valley between the village of Szumirad and the hamlet of Ryczek. This section of the valley is indented in glacial and aeolian sediments, which are facilely underlaid by upper triassic clays. Its width varies from a few dozen to a few hundred meters. In the bottom of the valley there are areas of peat bog and flat alluvial terraces. In the western part of the refuge there is a small, shallow body of water confined by a dam, the one in the East has been overgrown. Adjacent areas rising 1-5 meters above the valley floor are made of fluvioglacial sand and gravel locally elevated by aeolian sands. It is an area with a very high degree of naturalness, with unique in the region plant communities. The most valuable types of habitat here are various peat bogs, among which there are also small patches of raised peat bogs associations, that is unique in the scale of Silesia (Ledo-Sphagnetum magellanici, Sphagnetum magellanici). Peat bogs and standing and running water associations are surrounded mainly by anthropogenic and young pine stands of trees, but there are also fragments of a few dozen hectares well-developed bog coniferous forestsVaccinio uliginosi-Pinetum.
The subjects of protection
3150 Natural eutrophic lakes with Magnopotamion or Hydrocharition– type vegetation
3260 Watercourses of plain to montane levels with the Ranunculion fluitantis and Callitricho-Batrachion vegetation
7110 Active raised bogs
7140 Transition mires and quaking bogs
91D0 Bog woodland
91E0 Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa an Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae)
A description of the subjects of protection within the site
This is an invaluable area to preserve Opole voivodeship habitat and phytosociological diversity. The habitats in the Budkowiczanka valley are closely linked to the watercourse, i.e. natural water reservoir (protected nature reserve) with characteristic plants of the genus potamogeton and yellow water-lily. In the watercourse bed the habitat of river water-crowfoot occurs, i.e. characteristic aquatic plants of the buttercup family, with flowers carried just above water level giving the impression that the whole river is flowering. Other habitats belong to the group of hydrogenic habitats, meaning that they are closely related to the river water level. Peatland habitats have the greatest value as they are the refuge of many endangered on a scale of Silesia and Poland vascular plants and bryophytes.
….. Two nature reserves are located within the area, i.e. Kamieniec Nature Reserve and Smolnik Nature Reserve. The first one was established for the protection of peatlands, the second to protect the natural reservoir in which, rare on a Polish and European scale, aquatic plant occurs, i.e. water caltrop.
….. Water caltrop is an edible plant. Even before our era it has been used by humans as raw material for making flour and bread-like baked goods. Interestingly, caltrop husks having sharp spikes were used for defensive purposes (the road was covered by them to discourage hostile tribes to further attack).
….. Szumirad is a small village situated along the Budkowiczanka river. In XIX century the place was more populated as iron ore was mined and smelted there. During this period there were: a sawmill, smithy, blast furnaces and mill. They all benefited from the forces of nature which is the current of the river. Today, you can find the remnants of Szumirad’s former glory as the ruins of the foundations mostly located among forests.
….. The Budkowiczanka Valley is the youngest Natura 2000 site in Opole.