Site name and code: Łąki w okolicach Chrząstowic PLH160010
Site of Community Importance since 2011
Area: 795,02 ha
Administrative location: Opole voivodeship: Opole county – municipality of Chrząstowice.
The area includes a large meadow complex. Meadows extend on both sides of the national road no. 46 Opole-Częstochowa. In some places meadows are mowed, partially the area is covered with fallow grasslands. Within the whole area there are places with clusters of trees, composed of willows and alders or individual specimens of these trees. In some parts there are also birch trees. Well-preserved communities in Molinietalia caeruleae order represent significant areas. Among growing here species there are: meadowsweet, purple moor-grass, cabbage thistle. There are significant quantities of thistles throughout more-dried places, on the road. The great burnet numerously occurs in places. On the outskirts of the complex the ruderal communities are predominant. In summer, the parts that are not mowed are difficult to reach due to the density and height of the plants.
Chrząstawa (Jemielnica) constituting the frame of the area is a small river flowing in the western part of the site. It irrigates the area through which it flows, maintaining a significant part in good habitat condition. Throughout most of the site water table is at 0.5-1 m. There are mainly alluvial soils, or locally silts. During flowering, growing here plants are visited by numerous species of insects: bumblebees, brush-footed butterflies (the European peacock, small tortoiseshell, red admiral, map, heliconians, checkerspots, and others), gossamer-winged butterflies (several species), swallowtails, marbled white and representatives of other groups of insects. The Chrząstawa river enriches the entire area with of the species associated with aquatic environment, not only of the order of insects. There are also pool frog, common frog and European tree frog.
The subjects of protection
A description of the subjects of protection within the site
The family of gossamer-winged butterflies, which includes all protected items in Łąki w okolicach Chrząstowic Natura 2000 site, owes its name to the color of wings of some members of the family. They are small daily butterflies, occurring in almost all terrestrial environments. In case of dusky and scarce large blue an important part of their environment are meadows where they occur. These should include meadows used extensively i.e. mowed up to once a year. Large Copper is a species closely connected to the territories situated in the coastal part of small rivers and ditches where there are the host plants of the genus sorrel Rumex.
The main threat to the existence of protected species is a change of the meadows use to agricultural land and water amelioration. Plowing meadows leads to the destruction of host plants for the blue butterflies, but also to withdraw from the habitats species of ants, which are an essential element of their full development. Intensively conducted water amelioration is the biggest threat for the large copper, by the removal and destruction of host plants it reduces the possibility of this species occurrence.
….. Łąki w okolicach Chrząstowic site is located near the city of Opole and borders it on the north-western part.
….. one of the places located within the site i.e. ,, Lędziny „owes its name to the old word lęda, which loosely translated means an area of meadows, floodplains, plains, fields not suitable for cultivation. German records also confirm the name of the town as Lędzien translating it as Wiesendorf meaning Village of Meadows.