“Las Bronaczowa” is a compact forest complex stretching latitudinally between the popular road to Zakopane to the east, and the river Skawinka, which flows through Radziszów, to the west.The forest spreads over a length of 4 km, and its width varies from 0.8 to 1.5 km and covers approx. 800 hectares of land.Geographically, the Bronaczowa complex lies in the Wieliczka Foothills to the west and is divided into two parts based on administrative division.And so, the southern part belongs to the Myślenice county, while the northern and eastern parts belong to the district of Krakow.The wooded area is very diverse in terms of landform.There are numerous ravines and gorges that run in different directions, with streams flowing on their bottoms all year long or periodically.In the depressions, there are small marshes and forest marshes.
In many places, there are headwater areas and landslides.Running through the middle of the complex in its topline portion is a paved east-west road, available to pedestrians and bicycles.Branching off along the entire road are side branches (unpaved), available only for pedestrians.
The geological structure of the area (Carpathian flysch) and its geographical location as well as the climatic elements, have had a major influence on the formation of the vegetation in the area.Upland forest, habitat type forest, is the primary type present in most parts of the complex.Other types, such asupland mixed forest and wood ash, complement the primary type and cover the topline portions and depressions, respectively.The existing plant communities here feature great diversity.The stands in many cases are multi-layered in terms of structure and made up of numerous species.Thus, the structure and diversity of indigenous species increases their resistance to adverse effects of various factors and has a positive influence the aesthetic experience.The species of trees present include three species of oaks, two species of birches, two species of alder, ash, maple – two species, elm, beech, poplar – a few species, chestnut, hornbeam, willows – a few species, ash, black locust (acacia), black cherry, lime, wild cherry, Scots pine, Weymouth pine, black pine, spruce, fir, larch.Shrubs are represented by the following species:euonymus, viburnum, hawthorn, elder, elderberry, blackthorn, dog rose, dogwood, alder, hazel, buckthorn, barberry.The mention of those few species of trees and shrubs gives a foretaste of the richness of species.When walking through the woods, a few rare and very interesting protected undergrowth plant species can bee seen.These include e.g.:Daphne mezereum, turk's cap lily, deer fern, hellebore, asarum, English ivy, lily, different species of orchids, equisetum telmateia – all of these species are protected.
The abundance of plant species is totally equalled by the animal world.We have a cross-section of types and communities ranging from annelids to large mammals.Eye-catching insects include colourful butterflies that can be seen on the sunlit glades from spring to autumn.The piles of wood, especially pinewood, are home to the timberman beetle male from the longhorn beetle family: protective-coloured and inconspicuous, but equipped with spectacular antennae.If we hear a loud whirring insect fly past us, coloured like a wasp but with a much longer abdomen, it might be a horntail.A sand lizard, a blindworm or a grass snake basking in the sun are not a rare sight at all.And how pleasant to the ear is the evening croaking of frogs sounding from every puddle in April or May?If you get lucky, you can meet a rare amphibian in the woods – the fire salamander.Whoever likes to get up early should go to the forest especially in May to listen to the bird show. Watches can be adjusted, as the male of each species begins his amorous trills at his respective fixed time, with unequalled precision.Those who want to see more should bring binoculars along to “Bronaczowa.”This will make it easier to watch:the black woodpecker, the hoopoe, a pair of ravens circling around their nest and the buzzards.In the spring, you are bound to hear the cuckoo, and you can even see a black stork or the oriole.In late autumn, you can come across the colourful bullfinch and the kingfisher pigmented like a little jewel over the pond in “Rzeczki.”In the winter, when most of our birds are in Africa, we have guests coming over from the north.The nutcracker and the crossbill are the species that can be found in a snow-covered forest.If you happen to hear a screeching bird during your wanderings, you can be sure that it is the voice of a jay.This bird can imitate the voices of other birds and often mimics the voice of the buzzard.If the flock of camping titmice includes a bird with a white head and a relatively long tail, similar to the size of a titmouse, it means we have met a long-tailed titmouse.In the winter, if you can hear loud thumping coming from the crowns of trees, it is the sound of the woodpeckers working.Even at night, you can meet, or rather hear, interesting species of owls.In "Bronaczowa Forest," the tawny owl can often be seen, there are also the long-eared owl and the barn owl.Their mating hoots can be heard as early as February.Winter is the time when the snow bears all traces of the forest inhabitants.By reading these traces, we can find out that there are hares living in our forest, whose distinctive tracks can be seen along the roads and paths.They are often so complicated that it is difficult to find out where they start and where they end.The trail of a fox is a perfect string of beads arranged one after another.When walking the path through the complex, we can encounter roe deer running across our way.In the autumn and winter, they are usually found in herds consisting of several or even a dozen individuals.In the summer, it is usually a female with a young goat or two, or a buck, which sounds like a barking dog when frightened.In the spring, deer gather over here that have survived the end of the winter in large forest areas in the south.First come the hinds with last year's offspring, then in June or July there are deer bulls.When the nights become colder, sometime in late August or early September, the rutting season starts.A roaring bull can be heard from up to two kilometres away.In November begins the rutting season of the wild boar.It is then that, standing on a wild boar isthmus late in the evening, we can hear or see a pack of wild boars on a moonlit night.November is the month when the badger gets ready to sleep.He has already collected dry leaves, grass, and all this has been dragged down the hole.The pine marten is hunting intensely as it can feel the approaching cold weather: the food will be difficult to get too.The squirrels are chasing about in the trees, the hedgehogs are already asleep.You can see these and many other animals and plants when strolling through the backwoods of the "Bronaczowa forest."
To a large extent, the "Bronaczowa" forms part of the Radziszów forest administration region, which belongs to the Myślenice forest district office.These forests are state-owned and managed by PGL Lasy Państwowe.The forest district office runs eco-based sustainable forest management in this area.This management aims to preserve the undeniable natural and protective values of the area.For this purpose, planned management operations are performed, aimed at converting the coniferous stands into mixed and deciduous stands.Coniferous forests from the 1930s and 1940s are not very resistant to adverse environmental factors, such as:caps of snow, wind, insect outbreaks, infection by fungi or air pollution.After disasters from heavy wet snow in the 1950s and 1960s, conversion of the species composition and structure of forest stands was started.In the years 1947 - 1987 with an enormous commitment of the then forester – Eng. Szczepański, approximately one quarter of the complex, which is almost 200 hectares, was rebuilt.This work is currently being continued.In the years 1990 – 2000, about 60 hectares of new growing were started, with a number of valuable species introduced, mainly:fir, beech, oak, sycamore, ash, larch and, as admixtures:elm, alder and lime.Maintenance felling and regeneration cuts are conducted on an ongoing basis.In many forest nature reserves, because of their unique role, logging operations are not carried out and the actions are limited to what is necessary for regeneration and cleaning.The “Bronaczowa Forest” features all stages of forest development.Particularly important are stands of over 100 years of age, with specimens of trees that are 150 years old.These include centuries-old oaks, beeches and stately firs.Single specimens of beech trees have a volume of approximately 15 m3 and the shape of fantastic bouquets, and one of the fattest firs is about 17 m3 by 30m in height.A crowning achievement of the treatments related to the protection of nature was the establishment of the “Kozie Kąty” nature reserve in 1989.The reserve covers an area of 24,51 ha in unit 285b of the Radziszów forest administration region.Its character is similar to that of the Carpathian forest.The purpose of its creation was to protect the natural plant communities with their very rich forest fauna.In the reserve, there are beautiful specimens of fir and beech trees.Rare species of birds have their breeding sites in the area.Here, you can observe insect fauna related to the beech environment.Currently in the reserve, rare species of plants complement the outstanding qualities of the area.Hiking trails cut through the "Bronaczowa forest."And near the road to Zakopane, there is a forest car park with a campsite next to it: a convenient place to pitch a tent.It is also easy to reach from Skawina.In Radziszów, turn from the main road into ul. Spacerowa and you are almost in the forest.Visit our town and take a walk in the "Bronaczowa Forest." A hike like this is bound to give you many exciting moments in nature.However, do remember and do your best not to leave a trace in the form of leftover garbage, paper or empty bottles.
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