Site name and code: Dolina Małej Panwi PLH160008
Special Area of Conservation
Site of Community importance since 2011
Area: 1 106,3 ha
Administrative location: Opole voivodeship: Olesno county – municipality of Dobrodzień, Strzelce county – municipalities of: Jemielnica, Kolonowskie, Zawadzkie, Silesian voivodeship: Tarnowskie Góry county – municipality of Krupski Młyn (ok. 20 ha).
SCI Mała Panew Valley stretches from the village of Kolonowskie through Zawadzkie, Żędowice, Kielcza to Krupski Młyn. The refuge covers the Mała Panew bed with a natural highly meandering course, the valley bed and adjacent upland areas. The valley has a diverse morphology by the presence of various glacial forms, with clearly visible dunes, as well as numerous oxbows and meanders. That is what makes this over thirty kilometers long river section extremely picturesque. Diverse landform features also determine the conditions of diverse habitats existence. The Mała Panew is one of the most natural lowland rivers in the region and the only one of its kind protected under the Natura 2000 network of Opole. The river still remains unregulated within its borders with its natural course, which results in a unique natural and landscape values of the area. The Mała Panew is an attractive place in the region to practice canoeing. It has attracted many canoeists in recent years, becoming a popular trail in southern Poland. Industrial plants are located in the vicinity of the Natura 2000 site, however riverside is covered mainly by forests and agricultural areas.
3150 Natural eutrophic lakes with Magnopotamion or Hydrocharition – type vegetation
3260 Water courses of plain to montane levels with the Ranunculion fluitantis and Callitricho-Batrachion vegetation
6410 Molinia meadows on calcareous, peaty or clayey-silt-laden soils (Molinion caeruleae)
6510 Lowland hay meadows (Alopecurus pratensis, Sanguisorba officinalis)
7110 Active raised bogs
7230 Alkaline fens
9170 Galio-Carpinetum oak-hornbeam forests
91D0 Bog woodland
91E0 Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae)
A description of the subjects of protection within the site
The peat bogs represented, among others, by habitat type 7110 Raised peat bogs with peat forming vegetation (active) are the valuable natural elements within the site. Within the area of the refuge it occurs as the lowland raised peat bogs sub-type (7110-1). Their occurrence is associated with the presence of former oxbow lakes, now filled with peat deposit. The peat bog is covered by characteristic of this type of habitat, marsh Labrador tea and magellan’s Peatmoss associations with abundant species of the round-leaved sundew. The condition of the habitat has been rated as unsatisfactory due to inadequate periodic moisture content of the habitat, but it is highly capable of regeneration.
Throughout the site there are also transitional and low peat bogs, including environmentally valuable low carbonate peat bogs belonging to 7230-2 sub-type of the alkaline peat bogs in Southern (excluding mountains) and Central Poland. The condition of the habitat has been identified as U2 (bad), due to the natural succession reducing its acreage. Even so, some valuable elements of flora remained, including a representative of the orchid family – marsh helleborine.
In the riverbed there is 3260 habitat Rivers of plain to montane levels, with river water-crowfoot communities Ranunculion fluitantis. Formed by river water-crowfoot and intermediate water-starwort communities. To maintain high floristic values of the river in the refuge, it is important to preserve the natural river course.
The habitats of grassland, i.e. intermittently wet Molinia and fresh meadows are highly dispersed. Some of this type of habitat is located in shallowed oxbow lakes and flood terraces, which now have a very interesting regional names such as Świński Łuk – The Pig Arc.
Forest habitats, strongly represented by oak-hornbeam (subcontinental sub-type 9170 -2 Tilio cordatae- Carpinetum betuli) and riparian forests (in sub-type 91E0-3 lowland riparian ash – alder Fraxino – Alnetum). The main threats that could affect the current state of both habitats are: the invasion of geographically alien species in the lowest levels of the forest and the introduction of species, which do not comply with the ones that are relevant for these types of communities, to the forest stand in the course of renewal work.
Within the forest complexes the old growth of trees on dunes and moraines are of valuable conservation importance. In the depressions of the area pine bog woodland 91D0-2 is located representing habitat 91D0 Bog woodland (Vaccinio uliginosi-Betuletum pubescentis, Vaccinio uliginosi-Pinetum). Their overall conservation status is defined as unsatisfactory. The real threat to this subject of protection is overdrying of peat deposit and its insufficient hydration. The causes of this process have not been recognized. The assessment was also influenced by the depletion of the structure in terms of characteristic species occurrence, e.g. marsh labrador tea and peatmosses, as well as the deterioration of the hydrological conditions of the habitat. The presence of bristly club-moss Lycopodium annotinum is an important element of this community.
In addition to natural habitats under protection there are also valuable species within the refuge. These include species of birds mainly associated with forest habitats: the black stork, gray-headed woodpecker, black woodpecker, middle spotted woodpecker, woodlark, red-breasted flycatcher, collared flycatcher. Areas used as meadows are inhabited by white stork, and nearby watercourses and water reservoirs – by crane and kingfisher. The refuge is also inhabited by valuable species of mammals – otter, beaver and bats – greater mouse-eared bat. Among the protected species of amphibians and reptiles – the great crested newt, fire-bellied toad. There are also many invertebrates, including valuable species of beetles like hermit beetle.
….. The broad-leaved helleborine is one of the valuable plant species in the oak-hornbeam habitat. There are narcotic compounds in its nectar that cause pollinators to become sluggish. The insect drinking the nectar becomes numb at the beginning and with increasing intake of the drug his movements become slower and slower until finally he has trouble flying. Therefore, the possibility of movement of the insect is limited to, at most, the neighboring orchid flower, which then is pollinated.
… The round-leaved sundew, the endangered species in Poland, was widely used in former folk medicine as a therapeutic agent – mainly analgesic and antipyretic.