The LARGEST complex of ﬁsh ponds in Europe The LARGEST landscape park in Poland The LARGEST ornithological reserve in Poland The LAZIEST river – Barycz
Barycz Valley AREA
The Barycz Valley is a land on the border of Lower Silesia and Greater Poland, an important element of NATURA 2000 areas in Europe. Thanks to the cultural diversity and ac vi es of its inhabitants, the unique mosaic of ﬁelds, forests, meadows and ponds, it is an excep onally a rac ve tourist area. Discover the Barycz Valley in its: WEST CENTRAL
1st edi on Financed as part of the LAG's (Local Ac on Group) own opera on, Sub-measure 19.2 “Implemen ng community-led local development strategies”.
European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe inves ng in rural areas
Cover photo: Reserve ”Stawy Milickie”, complex ”Potasznia”, photo: Ł. Kiełtyka
Explore the land of: 300 ponds 270 species of wetland birds 6 nature reserves 700 km of bicycle routes 500 km of hiking trails 80 km of canoeing routes 480 km of horse riding routes 100 km of nature paths
Title: Discover the Barycz Valley Publishing editor: Jarosław Kałucki Managing editor: Anna Urbańczyk Consultants: Inga Demianiuk-Ozga, Hanna Jankowska, Zofia Pietryka, Aleksandra Wasińska, Piotr Cych, Robert Kaczmarek, Maciej Kowalski, Edmund Radziszewski, Włodzimierz Ranoszek, Cezary Tajer, Damian Żuber and representing partner self-governments: <Cieszków – Artur Maryjowski, <Krośnice – Justyna Jarosz, Krystian Okoń, < Milicz – Aleksandra Wencek, Wioletta Owczarek, <Odolanów – Michał Walków, <Przygodzice – Agnieszka Kątna-Dolata (PIT), Dariusz Piechowiak, Tomasz Wojtasik, <Sośnie – Dariusz Berek, <Twardogóra – Andrzej Makarczuk, <Żmigród – Małgorzata Kosińska, Joanna Pilarska, Anna Skocz Maps: © Compass Publishing House Graphic design, preparation for printing © Fju, Fju Iwona Wiśniowska STUDIO of advertising and image creation Adjustment: Bożena Sobota Translation: Justyna Bagińska ISBN 978-83-65082-23-7 © Association “PARTNERSHIP for the Barycz Valley”, Milicz 2021 The publisher is not responsible for the data validity on the presented Objects. However, every effort was made to ensure that the presented information was up-to-date. Search for current information in the Barycz Valley application. Publisher: Association “PARTNERSHIP for the Barycz Valley” pl. Ks. E. Waresiaka 7, 56-300 Milicz, phone / fax: 00 48 71 383 04 32 ext. 21; firstname.lastname@example.org Printing: KiD Wrocław Printing House
Association “PARTNERSHIP for the Barycz Valley” is a non-governmental organization operating as a local action group since 2008. The partnership cares for the sustainable development of the Barycz Valley based on the use of natural and cultural values, especially the Natura 2000 area. The activities of the association include the following municipalities: Cieszków, Krośnice, Milicz, Twardogóra and Żmigród from the Dolnośląskie Voivodeship, and Przygodzice, Odolanów and Sośnie from the Wielkopolska Voivodeship. We engage not only residents but also organizations, local governments and entrepreneurs in our activities. We coordinate, among others Carp Days, Barycz Valley system, Education Program for the Barycz Valley. We support the activity of residents within the grant program “Act Locally”. We strive to ensure that the integrated activities of the Partnership contribute to the creation of an attractive tourist offer and better recognition of the Barycz Valley brand. DONATE 1% of your tax to support the sustainable development of the Barycz Valley KRS 0000319202
Table of contents How to Read the Guide – The key to the guide Location of the Barycz Valley The BEST in the Barycz Valley The history of the Barycz Valley History of the ponds of the Barycz Valley Breeding of carp and other freshwater fish Nature protected areas in the Barycz Valley Tourist guide A bird paradise for ornithologists and amateurs of observation Barycz Valley for active people – By bike – Hiking trails – Canoe trail – Horse trail – Fishing Barycz Valley for families and recreation Architectural pearls of the Barycz Valley Palaces and wooden architectural wonders "Colorful Carp Trail" - sightseeing with a stamp "Barycz Valley POLECA", that is local products, dishes and souvenirs that educate "Carp Days" in the Barycz Valley
4–5 6–7 6–7 8–11 12–14 15 16–17 18 19 20–25 20–21 22 23 24 24 25 26–27 28–29 30–31 32–33 34–35
WEST part of the Barycz Valley TOP attractions For the weekend or longer For families with children Active
38–39 40–59 60–63 64–75
CENTRAL part of the Barycz Valley TOP attractions For the weekend or longer For families with children Active
78–81 82–113 114–119 120–137
EASTERN part of the Barycz Valley TOP attractions For the weekend or longer For families with children Active
140–141 142–161 162–167 168–175
NATURAL Barycz Valley Nature observer's calendar A bird watcher's guide You will meet these birds in the Barycz Valley Flora and fauna of the Barycz Valley – a compendium of knowledge – Fish from the Barycz Valley – Amphibians – Reptiles – Aamphibious and aquatic mammals – Rut – Invertebrates – Beetles under protection – Oaks in the Barycz Valley – Obligatory herbarium of Barycz
178–179 180–183 184–193 194–205 194–195 195–197 197–198 198–199 199–200 200–201 201–202 202–203 204–205
Recommended services and products from the Barycz Valley
How to read the guide – The key to the guide… The guide was created to introduce tourists to the attractions of the Barycz Valley - an area where you can meet nature, unique monuments and where you can relax actively. In a simple and transparent way, it provides useful information on cultural, historical and natural attractions, broken down into main descriptions, attractions for families or for active people.
In each part, the information is presented in the same order: < The most important TOP attractions:
The GUIDE on the Barycz Valley is divided into 3 parts
GENERAL PART contains basic information about the region. It presents the most important values of the Barycz Valley: its unique architecture, opportunities for active and family recreation, ready-made tourist products, such as the “Colorful Carp Trail”, the idea of autumn events as part of “Carp Days” and the certification system for Barycz Valley products and services.
<Descriptions of subregions – they begin with a map with marked attractions:
DESCRIPTIVE PART introduces you to the tourist attractions that await in the Barycz Valley. This fragment of the guide takes you through the three areas the Valley is divided into: the western, central and eastern part. The numbers in the photos next to the maps of the subregions correspond to the numbers of descriptions in the content: 4 – means the description of the attraction × – marked TOP places – marks a place with a fish on a colorful carp trail (the trail marks the attractions of the region)
<Maps of the reserves, with particular emphasis on descriptions of how to navigate in them – look for the green icon i
<Section on active rest and recreation (bicycle and hiking trails, nature paths, canoes, horseback riding, fishing) Includes: 1. Diagrams of routes from a given part of the Barycz Valley
<Section for families – it begins with a map and describes the most important attractions for families, labeled:
2. Detailed trail maps 3. Descriptions of the trails 4. Detailed maps of nature paths
red icon – offer for families blue icon – bathing areas green icon – picnic places
5. In this section you will also find tips on kayaking, fishing, horseback riding and chaise routes. At the end of the guide, there is a handful of practical information: where to eat, where to stay, where to buy local products, where to rent bicycles, kayaks, order a chaise ride, a bird watching guide or simply how to explore the area, which will broaden the knowledge of the Barycz Valley.
THE NATURAL PART allows you to get acquainted with the fauna and flora of the area, described in a basic scope, and the most interesting places from which you can conduct observations. An important hint is also the nature observer's calendar, which shows what can be found on the trail at different times of the year.
ABC of the Barycz Valley
Location of the Barycz Valley
The BEST in the Barycz Valley
Here is the LARGEST landscape park in Poland, which is crossed by one of the most beautiful Polish rivers - the Barycz river.
The Barycz flows through a shallow valley, it begins in the meadows near Przygodzice, where the bifurcated watercourses of Barycz, Leniwa (Lazy) Barycz and Gnilna (Rotten) Barycz intersect, and ends in the vicinity of Głogów, where it flows into the Odra River. Due to the diversified nature of the river and the pond management carried out on the basis of the river, the river has a coherent nature in the section from its sources to approx. 80 km (in the Żmigród commune), and this part of the catchment area is commonly called the Barycz Valley. From the borders of the Żmigród commune to the mouth, the river valley is more orderly and not as diverse as in the initial course, and this section is called the valley of the mouth of the Barycz river.
<The largest complex of fish ponds in Europe
< In the Barycz Valley you will find:
<The laziest river in Poland – Barycz (decrease by 0.035%)
<The second largest cluster of old oaks in Poland. These are 54 Antonin oaks that grow on an area of 2 km2, and 19 of them have been recognized as natural monuments (Ømore about the oaks, pp. 202–203).
<The oldest English park in Lower Silesia. It was founded around 1800 in Milicz near the Maltzan Palace
<The largest landscape park in Poland (87,040 ha)
<The most frequently viewed on-line nest of the white stork in Przygodzice
<The largest ornithological reserve in Poland (5324.31 ha)
The Barycz Valley covers an area of over 87 thousand ha located on the border of Lower Silesia and Greater Poland. It stretches from Antonin and Przygodzice in the east to Żmigród in the west, from Krośnickie and Twardogórskie Hills to the south to Cieszkowskie Hills and Dąbrowy Krotoszyńskie in the north. For over 15 years, 8 communes have been involved in the common brand of the Barycz Valley: Cieszków, Krośnice, Milicz, Odolanów, Przygodzice, Sośnie, Twardogóra, and Żmigród. The center of the valley is marked by the largest town – Milicz. Distance from Wrocław to the South and West borderlands of the Valley is approx. 50 km, from Poznań to the northern border – approx. 120 km. Drivers could call it “5–15–25” from the numbers of national roads restricting the Valley from the west (5), east (25) and the road running through its center (15).
ABC of the Barycz Valley
The history of the Barycz Valley The Kurzbachs, Hatzfeldts, Maltzans, Reichenbachs, Hochbergs, but also the Gołuchowski, Leszczyński and Radziwiłł families – these are the great families that shaped the history of the Barycz Valley. It traces back, in written sources, to the Piasts lineage. 12th-century documents say that tithes from the left bank of the Barycz river were transferred to the Wrocław bishop curia, and from the right bank – to Gniezno. On the southern banks of the river, there were castellan settlements: Milicz and Żmigród – the first town center (in the 13th century). In the part of Wielkopolska, the settlement in Topola Wielka comes from the early Middle Ages, which was built during the times of Mieszko I as part of the defense system on the Silesian-Greater Poland border.
The tombstone of Zygmunt III von Kurzbach, who died in 1513 – the owner of the first state states, Żmigród and Milicz – located in the church of St. James the Apostle in Prusice
The capture of the castle in Milicz by the troops of the Czech King John of Luxembourg by the Milicz Reconstruction Group
From small principalities to a kingdom Part of the Barycz Valley was ruled by the dukes of Głogów and Oleśnica in the 13th and 14th centuries, but both of these Piast lines recognized the sovereignty of the Czech king. On the other hand, the Greater Poland part of the Barycz Valley, in the period of the regional disintegration, passed from the hands of the Greater Poland Piasts to the Silesian Piasts. Eventually, it returned to Greater Poland, which in the 14th century became part of the rebuilt Kingdom of Poland, except for the south-west (today's Sośnie municipality) attached to Silesia. These lands were formally within the borders of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland when Władysław Jagiełło defeated the ruling prince Władysław Opolczyk.
State states in the Barycz Valley After the extinction of the Piast princes from the Oleśnica line, the Czech king Władysław Jagiellończyk separated the Milicz-Żmigród region from the Principality of Oleśnica and handed it over (in 1492 – Żmigród and in 1494 – Milicz) to his treasurer Zygmunt Kurzbach. As a result, Żmigród and Milicz became independent state states – as the first in Silesia – and were directly subject to the crown.
In the Greater Poland part, knightly property dominated at that time. The urban center here was Odolanów, which belonged to the Polish king. It was the seat of the Starosta office, which included ten villages. The town flourished in the 16th century, when mills, forges and breweries were established and developed. However, it was the Kurzbachs who developed the Barycz Valley economically. They built and enlarged ponds for intensive fish farming, and set up villages by the reservoirs. The lavish lifestyle and the turmoil of war caused such a great impoverishment of this family that its last representative died in a shelter. In the 17th and 18th centuries, new, smaller, free state states were established in Sułów, Cieszków, Nowy Zamek and Goszcz, and other families made a fortune here: Hatzfeldt (Żmigród), Maltzan (Milicz), Reichenbach (Goszcz) and Hochberg (Nowy Zamek – Wierzchowice). They
1699 to the treasurer of the great Crown Jan Jerzy Przebendowski. His daughter, Dorota Henryka, brought them as dowry to the Radziwiłł family. They expanded
Portrait of 24-year-old Frederick II the Great, later King of Prussia, who visited the Barycz Valley as a young man
remained in their possession until World War II.
The shadow of the great war When the Silesian part of the Barycz Valley belonged to the Kurzbach family, it was part of the Habsburg monarchy as the kings of
Rafał Gołuchowski, founder of the Przygodzice estate. Detail of the painting Madonna “ab Igne”. Collegiate church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Kalisz.
Bohemia. The Reformation, which spread across Europe and reached Silesia, sparked the Thirty Years' War. It had a religious background, but the Protestant coalition of European countries sought to use it politically, i.e. to weaken the great Catholic Habsburg family. The Barycz Valley, like the whole of Silesia, was under their control, but the Habsburg counter-reformation against the majority of the Protestant population meant that the Prussian king Frederick II the Great, who took Silesia in 1740, was warmly welcomed by local families in the Barycz Valley. The history of the Greater Poland part of the Barycz Valley was different. From the 15th century, its development was influenced by Polish noble families. The Przygodzice estate was started by the Gołuchowski family, and continued by their relatives, the Leszczyński family. The estate included the city of Ostrów, 15 villages and uninhabited areas of land. Rafał Leszczyński sold over a dozen villages in
Dorota Henryka Przebendowska – she contributed the Przygodzice land to the Radziwiłł family as a dowry. Wobe M. F., Leybowicz H., “Icones familiae ducalis Radivilianae”, 1758
Jan Mikołaj Radziwiłł. Wobe M. F., Leybowicz H., “Icones familiae ducalis Radivilianae”, 1758
them and modernized agriculture, forestry and carp breeding.
From Żmigród to Waterloo Żmigród left its special mark in European history. It was here that in July 1813, among others, Tsar Alexander, King of Prussia Frede-
ABC of the Barycz Valley
Mikhail Kutuzov, participant in the anti-Napoleonic meeting in Żmigród in 1813 Living room in the palace in Żmigród – most likely an anti-Napoleonic military agreement was signed here – the Żmigród protocol
rick William III, Grand Duke Constantine and Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzow met. During this meeting, an anti-Napoleonic coalition was formed at the Żmigród castle, and the arrangements were written down as the so-called Żmigród protocol. Thus, it can be said that it was in Żmigród that Napoleon's Waterloo began. Since the partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Barycz Valley was under the rule of Prussia, and then Germany, but its Greater Poland part was briefly part of the Principality of Warsaw established by Napoleon (1807-1815). After the Congress of
Frederick William III, participant of the anti-Napoleonic meeting in Żmigród in 1813
and only prince-governor of the autonomous Grand Duchy of Poznań. In 1840, the Przygodzice
Antoni Henryk Radziwiłł, owner of the Przygodzice estate, governor of the Grand Principality of Poznań, lithograph by L. Simon
estate became the Przygodzicki County, and in 1873 another Radziwiłł ordinance, and it remained so until 1939.
MP Ferdynand Radziwiłł in the Reichstag and in the Sejm
Tsar Alexander I, participant in the anti-Napoleonic meeting in Żmigród in 1813 Grand Duke Konstanty, participant of the anti-Napoleonic meeting in Żmigród in 1813
Vienna in 1815, which sealed the fall of the French Emperor, Prince Antoni Radziwiłł became the first
Throughout the whole period of the partitions, the Greater Poland part of the Barycz Valley was a mainstay of Polishness. In the German Reichstag in the years 1874-1918, Poles were represented by Prince Ferdynand Radziwiłł (1834-1926). After regaining independence, as a senior marshal, he opened the Legislative Seym in the Second Polish Republic. In 1918, when the Greater Poland Uprising broke out, volun-
Ferdynand Radziwiłł, owner of the Przygodzice estate, representative of Poles in the Reichstag from 1874
The hunting palace of the Radziwiłł princes in Antonin, fragment of A. Duncker's lithography
teers from the area of Barycz took part in it en masse. The first to fall was 19-year-old Jan Mertka from Przygodzice. Also, a significant part of the population of the Silesian part of the Barycz Valley still used the Polish language. The common use of the Polish language here influenced the fact that the present municipality Sośnie, was incorporated into the Second Polish Republic in 1920, to which the Greater Poland part of the Valley had already entered in 1919. In January 1945, the lands of the Barycz Valley were seized without any major fights. Most of the German inhabitants fled before the advent of the front. The rest was displaced. Their place was taken by Polish settlers from Greater Poland and the ones expelled from the eastern Borderlands of the Second Polish Republic. In 1999, the area was administratively divided between two voivodeships: Dolny Śląsk and Wielkopolska. However, in the Barycz Valley, nature connects these two provinces.
Insurgent fights at Chachalnia near Zduny
Jan Mertka from Przygodzice – the first to fall in the Greater Poland Uprising in 1918
Milicz from World War II era
Joint activities for the brand of the area and the preservation of valuable natural areas connect people, organizations and local governments today in the form of partnerships across borders.
ABC of the Barycz Valley
History of the Barycz Valley ponds n Where do the Barycz Valley ponds come from? It is a mixture of the work of nature and the hands of man. Today they are on the prestigious UN list “Living Lakes”. To the south of the Valley there are the Trzebnickie Hills – it is in fact the so-called piled up moraine – the effect of squeezing the earth's surface by an ice sheet that reached this latitude from the north. As it melted, the depressions turned into swamps, backwaters, and ponds.
n The golden age of ponds
From the end of the 15th century, the local lands were taken over by the Kurzbach family. From this moment the “golden era” of the Milicz ponds begins. It is then that the largest ponds are created, several hundred n The Cistercians hectares in size, often were the first 2 or 3 times more than today. Among them, the The calm current of largest is the Stary Pond, the Barycz river and then over 700 ha in size, its tributaries inspired and Grabownica, which men to build dikes, could originally have dams and regulate been as large as 1000 ha, ponds for the purpose before the division into of fish farming. The Górna (no longer exifirst records of such sting) and Dolna (existing activities come from to this day). the 12th century, when Above all, however, the the owner of these Kurzbachs were moderlands was the Wrocław nizing fish farming. They bishop’s chapter. Until introduced a division the 14th century, the into spawning ponds, area of ponds develotransition and cargo ped in such a way was tanks, winter storage already 2,000 sq ha, ponds, etc. and fishermen began At a time when fasting to be treated in church lasted for 180 days a year, documents on an equal fish was great business. footing with other But it was also a presticrafts. gious symbol of belonAt that time, modern ging to the elite, a sign forms of agriculture of high financial or social were promoted by the standing, in the case of Cistercian Order brothe bourgeoisie a form ught to Poland, whose of almost ennoblement, first monastery in Silesia and huge (over 500 ha) was founded in 1163 in giant ponds in princely Lubiąż. The Cistercians or magnate estates were promoted carp farming a family “monuments of and built the first ponds, glory”. The Stary (700 ha) and there are exceptioand Grabownica (500 ha) nally good conditions ponds have become such for this type of activity Woodcut, work by B. Paprocki “Knight's Circle”, Kraków, after 1575 monuments in the Barycz in the Barycz Valley. Valley. In this way, the largest concentration of ponds in Europe at that time, In the second half of the 16th with an area of over 2300 ha, including giant ponds: Stary (700 ha), century, carp already accounted Grabownica Górna (500 ha), Jamnik (360 ha). Mainly pike, tench, crucian for about 75-80% of the total fish carp, bream, perch and roach were bred. The first extensive information farmed in ponds. on carp farming comes from the mid-15th century.
The coat of arms of the Kurzbach family with the image of three fish in the shield field, placed in the oldest part of the palace in Żmigród, 1500
Apart from them, crucian carp, burbot, tench, weatherfish, catfish, bream, roach, perch, gudgeon, ide, ruffe, bleak and other, less valuable species were bred.
n Carps more important than wheat From 1592, the owner of the Milicz estates was Count Maltzan, while the owner of Żmigród estates was initially Count Schaffgotsch, and then Duke Hatzfeldt. It was thanks to them that the ponds in the Barycz Valley survived the turmoil of the Thirty Years' War. When fish farming became unprofitable Ponds by Barycz river on the 18th century map by F. B. Werner, “Topography of Oder Prodromus Delineati Principatus Lignicenzis, Bregensis et Wolaviensis”, WUL
Jan Dubrawiusz, author of a textbook on building and managing ponds in the 16th and 17th centuries, which became a must for fish farmers
across Europe, ponds were not drained for wheat cultivation. The Barycz fisheries survived the stormy first half of the 17th century without major tremors. Not only did the usable area of the ponds and fish production not decrease, but the ponds in Goszcz were expanded on a large scale, and from 1657 also in the vicinity of Krośnice. Accounting books from 1636-1680 show very high fish catches and high profitability of the Hatzfeldt pond management. The largest area, not only in Silesia, but in the whole of Europe, was occupied by ponds in the mid-18th century, i.e. over 13 000 ha. However, at the beginning of the 19th century, there was a significant reduction in catches, and then a complete suspension of the sale of fish and the slow devastation and overgrowing of the ponds.
n The aftermath of a great drought In the case of the Barycz Valley, the downturn was influenced by long periods of drought. In the Milicz estates large ponds were
ABC of the Barycz Valley
n Ponds recovered After World War II, the ponds were taken over by the State Land Property and the Directorate of State Forests. The area suitable for fish farming was only a small part of the total area of the enclosed ponds. The reservoirs were overgrown, most of the hydrotechnical devices (e.g. weirs, dams, gates) needed to be replaced or repaired, there were no carp spawning ponds or even fish food. In the 1950s, the State Fish Farms were established here. Modern, heavy equipment was purchased, shallower reservoirs were deepened, rushes were massively removed, and dykes were repaired.
n A reserve, or ponds like Lake Constance
Carp catch at the ponds in Milicz, 1934
liquidated, such as: Grabownica Górna, Jaskółczy Górny, Nowy Duży and Mały (presumably today: Słoneczny Górny, Wilczy Mały and Duży and Przelotny) and many smaller ones, with a total area of 1403 ha. In the Żmigród estates, 1,612 ha of ponds were liquidated or drained, including large reservoirs: Rudy, Pański, Sanie Duży and Korzeńsko-Grabce, as well as many smaller ones. The damming of the water was lowered on many ponds, which additionally reduced the area of the reservoir by 484 ha, and many were periodically converted into agricultural land. During the Napoleonic Wars, this tendency deepened. The Barycz Valley, then the lands belonging to Prussia, was under occupation. Cereals became more expensive than fish, which led to a systematic shift from fish farming to grain production.
n The Germans ate fish from Milicz The situation changed in the 19th century. Lower Silesia was the main supplier of fish to the entire German market. Modernizations were introduced (including the method of breeding by T. Dubisz), the effects of which are still visible today. The abandoned method of gradual transfer of annual fish to subsequent ponds, combined with the simultaneous thinning of their density, was returned. This made it possible to shorten the fish breeding cycle (from 4-5 to 2-3 years). The profitability of this sector of the economy has increased more than tenfold over several dozen years.
In 1963, the “Stawy Milickie” reserve was established, unique in terms of the richness of nature and bird species found in this area, mainly water and marsh. The reserve covers an area of 5,324.4 ha and also includes the oldest ponds of Ruda Milicka, Grabownica, Ruda Sułowska and Radziądz. In the 1970s, the fishing farms were merged into the Dolnośląski Kombinat Rybacki Milicz. In 1990, it was dissolved and individual plants became independent enterprises. However, after a few years, when the ponds were taken over by the voivode, the State Budget Institute “Stawy Milickie” was established, and after a decade – a joint-stock company owned by the local government of Lower Silesia, managing the acreage of over 6,000 ha of ponds. Part of the former state-owned property was sold or leased, and the new managers developed efficiently managed agricultural and fishing farms on this basis. The average acreage of such farms is 100-1500 ha, and they are grouped in the vicinity of Ruda Żmigrodzka, Milicz, Cieszków, Sośnia and Przygodzice. The main activity of the company “Stawy Milickie” is still breeding and production of freshwater fish. However, in recent years, the development of tourism and promotion of the Barycz Valley have become an almost equal task, mainly based on the traditional Milicz carp and the unique environmental conditions of the area. The natural rank of the “Stawy Milickie” reserve is so high that it was included in the international Ramsar Convention and entered on the prestigious UN list of Living Lakes, next to such famous reservoirs as Lake Constance or Lake Baikal. The reserve is located in the “Barycz Valley” Landscape Park and Natura 2000 areas – the “Barycz Valley” special bird protection area and the “Ostoja nad Baryczą” special protection area for habitats. Fishermen during the catch at the Grabownica pond
Breeding of carp and other freshwater fish its natural environment. Carp is bred in the Barycz Valley (according to the Dubisz method) for 3 years. From hatching, it is fed only with natural grains, often tended to – and while it grows, it changes its place of living 7-10 times. It is caught and transferred to ponds of various sizes and depths so that it can grow freely. On average, in a pond, there is one carp per 10m2 of water surface. This method of carp breeding, initiated at the end of the 15th century by the owners, the Kurzbach family, and modernized in the 19th century by Tomasz Dubisz, shortened
Catches at the Milicz ponds
Thanks to carp breeding, the Barycz Valley is a land of plenty. The over 800-year-long management of the flowing waters of the lazy Barycz river, the construction of
Catches at the ponds in Możdżanowo
Catches at the Milicz ponds
ponds, fish farming and unique nature have contributed to the creation of one of the most charming places in the world. The autumn carp catch is the culmination of 3 years of hard work by fishermen who ensure that the most characteristic product from the Barycz Valley – the carp – hits the tables, because it is a fish that grows slowly in
the time from restocking to catching carp by half. Carp is the most important fish farmed here, although few people know that at least 5-8 other species of fish are also kept in the ponds, such as crucian carp, grass carp, silver carp, catfish, tench, noble pike or zander (Ø more on fish on pp. 194–195). The fact that carp is tasty is also known to many fish-eaters – birds, who like fish, and fish them out all year round. The benefit of this is that you can admire them from the numerous lookouts, towers and observation sites. In the Barycz Valley, you will meet about 260 species of birds. ---------Although the Barycz Valley is full of fish, they can only be caught in designated places. Information on where to fish can be found in each of the described areas – West, Central, East in the chapter “Actively”
The scheme of the pond construction
monk drainage ditch
great crested grebe
ABC of the Barycz Valley
Nature protected areas in the Barycz Valley Swampy and wet areas in the Barycz ice-marginal valley, sunny slopes of the fertile moraine hills of Kocie Góry and extremely dry and barren areas of inland dunes overgrown by pine forests, oak forests, beech forests, ash-alder riparian forests. Welcome to the Barycz Valley. The Barycz Valley, due to its outstanding natural values, unique in the country, Europe and even the world, is covered by numerous forms of nature protection. The most important is the ornithological reserve “Stawy Milickie”,
the Landscape Park “Barycz Valley”, which with its area of over 860 km2 is the largest landscape park in Poland. It is also here that there is a coherent area of protection for habitats and birds included in the Natura 2000 program.
Forms of nature protection Reserve “Stawy Milickie” < The Barycz Valley complex “Radziądz” Landscape Park – was established in 1996 to protect the natural, landscape and historical values of the Barycz region. It extends in the Dolnośląskie and Wielkopolskie Voivodeships, occupying an area of 86,336 ha, as much as 2 70,000 ha of it is situated on the Lower Silesian side. <Natura 2000 – this is an area of special bird protection “Barycz Valley” and a special area of protection of habitats “Ostoja nad Baryczą”, an area similar in size to a landscape “Barycz Valley” park – both created in 2004. Landscape Park
Reserve “Stawy Milickie” complex “Ruda Milicka”
Reserve “Stawy Milickie” complex Jamnik”
Reserve “Stawy Milickie” complex “Stawno”
< Reserve “Stawy Milickie” – established to protect
water-marsh birds and their habitats. Considering the vast area of over 5,300 ha and the location of the reserve, we distinguish 5 separate reserve complexes on the ponds: the complex “Radziądz” (Ø 46–47), “Jamnik” (Ø 49–50), “Ruda Sułowska” (Ø 55), “Stawno” (Ø 95–96), “Potasznia” (Ø 97). Due to the bird protection seasons and fishing, this reserve is available only in specific places and on designated paths (more on p. 18 and in the description of individual reserve complexes later in the guide).
The reserve “Torfowisko koło Grabowna” – was established in order to preserve a peat bog with interesting vegetation. It has an area of 4.22 ha and is located south of Twardogóra. The reserve consists of 3 sessile peat bogs (more Ø 112–113). You can walk there, but follow the signs in the field. Beware of swamp areas.
The “Radziądz” (forest) nature reserve – the oldest nature reserve in the Barycz Valley, covers over 8 hectares of forest, with a fragment of Middle-European oak-hornbeam forest with an intermixture of small-leaved lime and beech. (Ømore on p. 46). You can walk – follow the signs in the field.
n Do you know that… “Stawy Milickie” belong to the international network “Living Lakes”, bringing together 24 water bodies from all over the world, characterized by exceptional natural values. The Dead Sea, Lake Victoria and Lake Baikal also belong to this prestigious list.
The reserve “Olszyny Niezgodzkie” with an area of nearly 75 ha. A fragment of an alder swamp forest is protected here. The currant alder complex with a tuft-valley structure predominates. The tops of the clumps are covered, among others, by hypnum, Polytrichum formosum, leucobryum moss and male fern (Dryopteris filix-mas). Between the clumps, we can see swamp and water vegetation (more Ø 47–48). You can walk – follow the signs in the field. Beware of swamp areas.
The “Wzgórze Joanny” reserve covers an area of over 24 hectares, and a 200-year-old beech stand is under protection. The undergrowth here is poor and consists mainly of large-flowered greater stitchwort, galium, yellow anemone and yellow archangel (Lamium galeobdolon). At the very top there is a hunting castle from the mid-19th century, built by count von Salich – now known as the Odyniec Tower. (Ø more on p. 59). You can walk – follow the signs in the field.
Reserve “Stawy Milickie” complex “Stawno”
Natura 2000 special bird protection area “Barycz Valley”
The “Wydymacz” reserve is located in the Antonin forest district, it covers an area of nearly 48 ha. The ash and alder forest complex is under protection, as well as numerous monumental pedunculate oaks and wetland birds. In the area of “Wydymacz” at least 120 species of birds were found, of which about 70 are breeding species. (more Ø 160–161) You can walk – follow the signs in the field.
Natura 2000 area of habitat protection “Ostoja nad Baryczą”
Other forms of nature protection in the Barycz Valley < Ecological lands provide the possibility of protecting small-area objects, valuable in terms of nature, for example, the Halina pond, strongly overgrown with rushes, is a breeding site for many species of amphibians and birds; the meadows and marshes near Osiek and the North Pond. < Monuments of nature – especially impressive trees, which are abundant in the Barycz Valley. The largest clusters of trees of monumental size are in the palace parks,
in the pond complex. Jan oak, with a circumference of 853 cm, is the fifth largest in Poland. It grows near the hunting lodge in Możdżanowo. Szwedzka Górka is a group of four pines, 203-230 cm in size, growing on a small dune between Sułów and Miłosławice. Sułowo Oaks is a group of three oaks with a circumference of approx. 600 cm, surrounding the parish church of St. Peter and Paul. < In addition, for the purposes of promoting sustainable forest management, an area was designated in the forest districts of Milicz and Żmigród under the
name of the Forest Promotional Complex “Lasy Doliny Baryczy”, while in the Antonin Forest District – the Forest Promotion Complex “Lasy Rychtalskie”. Promotional forest complexes is the idea of promoting ecological forestry.
---------In the centers of promotional forest complexes (“Dom Drzewa” of the Milicz Forest District, Ecological Education Center of the Żmigród Forest District, Rychtal Forests, Antonin Forest District) professional classes are conducted for organized groups and selected for individual tourists (Ø more in chapter “For Families”).
ABC of the Barycz Valley
A tourist's guide
How to navigate through the places of natural value in the Barycz Valley?
The other rules do not go far beyond the standards of a responsible tourist who usually follows them instinctively. A responsible tourist does not litter, does not make noise, does not drive a car or motorcycle away from public roads into the reserve, does not let the dog off its leash. Moreover, he/she knows that it is not allowed to bathe in ponds, light fires and camp outside the designated areas, as well as pick mushrooms and plants, because they are all protected here. When entering the area of the “Stawy Milickie” reserve, we should remember first of all that the introduced legal provisions are aimed at effective protection of the natural welfare and the preservation of protected and rare species of animals, plants and fungi and their habitats for future generations. It is the responsible behavior of each of us that determines the fate of this patch of wild nature.
The Barycz Valley is almost entirely covered by protected areas. These are nature reserves, a landscape park, Natura 2000 sites, ecological lands and natural monuments. Therefore, tourists, although they are welcome here, should remember about certain limitations in extremely valuable natural areas covered by international conventions.
n Do you know that… The largest Polish ornithological reserve “Stawy Milickie” was included in the Polish Red Book of Polish Landscapes, which includes the most valuable and endangered natural and landscape complexes. Within the “Stawy Milickie” reserve and in forest reserves, it is allowed to walk only along marked roads and paths. It is forbidden to hunt and fish here outside the designated fisheries and to enter dikes except those clearly marked as open to tourists (paths and trails). Ignoring bans is an offense that can result in a fine. It is worth remembering that you must not do anything that could scare the animals. Important signs in reserve areas
There are fewer restrictions on the landscape park, but you can only camp in designated areas. ----------
More information on the rules of moving around the “Stawy Milickie” reserve can be found Øin the regulations at www.krainaniezwyklosci.pl.
A bird paradise for ornithologists and amateurs of observation Nearly 300 bird species live in the Lower Silesian part of the landscape park, more than half of which are breeding species. In the Wielkopolska part, 260 species have been counted. Many of them are found in great density, e.g. greylag geese, taiga bean geese, cranes, gray herons. An interesting bird of wooded dikes and islands is European penduline tit, which builds intricately woven nests, suspenGreylag goose ded at the ends of willow and birch twigs, most often above the water surface. Whooper swans, as well as tundra swans, which regularly come to the Barycz Valley during the spring and autumn migration, are becoming more and more numerous, especially during the migration period. In autumn, even several dozen of white-tailed eagles appear on ponds. Young birds from outside the Valley are attracted by the Gray heron abundance of readily available food – especially during the catch. In other seasons of the year, white-tailed eagles are observed less frequently. Another bird of prey, the marsh harrier, can be found from the beginning of April, during mating or building nests. Whooper swan Spring is, by the way, the most attractive Crane time to observe, a time when the birds mate and the trees are not yet covered with leaves. In autumn, there is also a chance to observe bird passages. Moreover, in the largest ponds of the reserve, in late spring and summer so-called “pierzowiska” (moulting) take place. Swans, greylaggers and ducks gather there to shed feathers.
Big ponds with reed islands are best for birdwatching. Naturalists menMarsh harrier tion the following ponds as the most magnificent observation points: Stary, Jeleni III, Mewi Duży, Słoneczny and Grabownica. For more practical information see The Bird Watcher's Handbook, Øp. 180–183. Attention! Please note that access to the reserves, with the exception of public roads and tourist routes, requires a written permission from the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection. You should also be careful not to violate the breeding precincts. If you want to admire the beauty of the ponds, it is best to follow the designated walking or cycling routes or use the nature paths, the boards will allow you to understand the surrounding nature and help you observe birds. Later in the guide, we White-tailed cover all avaeagle ilable nature paths. More about birds, fauna and flora from the Barycz Valley, Øp. 180–205.
ABC of the Barycz Valley
Barycz Valley for active people In the area of the Barycz Valley, there is a dense network of bicycle, hiking, canoeing and horse-riding tourist routes and trails. Tourist routes lead through the most beautiful places in the Valley, and their type is adapted to the specificity of the area through which they run. Therefore, where it is easy to travel by bicycle, bicycle routes dominate, while in areas where it is more difficult to cycle and the distances to be traveled are not too large, more hiking trails have been marked out. The greatest concentration of tourist routes is located around towns frequently visited by tourists, such as: Milicz, Żmigród, Krośnice, Antonin, Twardogóra and Przygodzice. Thanks to cycling, hiking and horse riding, it is possible to reach the most interesting corners of the Valley, as well as to get to know many interesting places, often located far from the main communi-
cation routes. The Barycz Valley is not only a land of ponds, but also a mixture of hills covered with varied tree stands, flat and wet meadows and riparian forests as well as built-up areas, often with a long and intricate history. Hence, the routes running across the area often have their themes related to history or landscape, e.g. a walking archaeological or castle trail, the Chopin or the bicycle trail of the Krośnickie Hills. More about the routes in individual parts of the guide and in the maps at Ø www.dolinabaryczy.travel
By bike through the Barycz Valley
Almost 700 km of marked bicycle routes, special asphalt bicycle paths and local roads with little traffic, as well as routes in forests and routes leading through fields – the Barycz Valley is, according to bicycle experts, one of the most attractive areas to traverse on two wheels, especially that on the way you can meet interesting monuments, towers and lookouts for bird watching or just a picturesque landscape. The greatest density of bicycle routes is in the vicinity of Żmigród, Milicz, Twardogóra, Odolanów and Przygodzice. Below there is a brief description of the most important tourist bicycle routes in the Barycz Valley (description from the west to the east).
The orange bicycle trail of the Barycz Valley is the most important artery that runs along the Barycz River. The trail runs through the lands of three voivodeships: Lubuskie, Dolnośląskie and Wielkopolskie. Within the Barycz Valley it starts from the border of the Żmigród municipality and ends in Odolanów and is 93 km long.
The bicycle path along the former narrow-gauge railway line is best prepared in terms of bicycle infrastructure. A 40-kilometer path from the border of the Żmigród municipality to Grabownica runs along the former narrow-gauge embankment, and along the route there are stopping places stylized as railway stations. The Milickie Ponds Trail is nearly 29 km long and is one of the most interesting cycling routes, as it gives you the opportunity to see the fauna and flora of fish ponds up close. The Trzebnica Bicycle Loop also touches the Barycz Valley, connecting Żmigród, Ruda Sułowska, the reserve “Olszyny Niezgodzkie”, Ruda Żmigrodzka, Jamnik and the Sieczkowski pond. Its length in the Valley is 57.6 km. The “Barycz” section of the International R-9 Baltic-Adriatic Route, 17 km long (in the Valley). From the north of Baranowice it leads
through Olsza, Grabówka and Ruda Sułowska, connecting with other local bicycle routes. The black trail “W Dolinę Baryczy” – starting in Jutrosin (outside the Valley) and en-
ding in Krośnice – leads the tourist mainly through the northern part of the Barycz Valley, crossing its area from the north to the south. Wielka Pętla Wzgórz Krośnickich (The great loop of the Krośnickie Hills) is also one of the longer bicycle routes that run entirely within the Barycz Valley. The loop has a total length of 63 km and mostly runs along the forested hills around Krośnice. Another long route is the “Dookoła Powiatu Ostrowskiego” (Around Ostrowski Poviat) bicycle route. Out of the total length of over 200 km, as many as 70 km lead through the Barycz Valley. Ostrów Wielkopolski with Antonin in the eastern parts of the Barycz Valley are connected by the Transwielkopolska Bike Trail, part of which is also located in the Valley.
Detailed descriptions of these and other routes are provided later in the guide Øin “Active” Chapter. Illustrative bicycle map with marked trails is also available at Øwww.dolinabaryczy.travel Download the Barycz Valley application Ø navigate the trails.
ABC of the Barycz Valley
are rarely seen, and the beautiful nature and rural architecture are almost at your fingertips. When choosing routes, do not forget about binoculars – they are especially useful for walks near ponds. All routes were led through the greatest attractions of the Barycz Valley. Some of them are thematic. It is possible to follow the castle trail (Żmigród – Milicz) – Øpp. 67–68 and 124, the archaeological trail (Bartków - Grabowno Wielkie) – Øp. 67 and 124, the baroque trail of the Hatzfeldt foundation (near Żmigród) – Øp. 67 or the trail of nature reserves (Zduny – Skoroszów) – Øp. 125. Additionally, many local routes connect two municipalities or lead along one of them. All routes have been described in detail in the chapters characterizing individual parts of the Barycz Valley (west, central and east). A hiking tourist can also take advantage of other forms that make it easier for him/her to discover the beauty of the Barycz Valley.
Tourists have at their disposal as many as 500 km of hiking trails
The Barycz Valley can be visited and explored on foot, which is facilitated by a dense network of hiking trails with a total length of nearly 500 km, as well as numerous nature, recreational (cross-country and Nordic walking), didactic, historical and routes for orienteering enthusiasts (traveling with a map in in the form of a run or an orienteering march). Hikers will not be bored here, as the trails and routes often lead along dikes between numerous ponds, through forests with varied tree stands, through meadows and fields, or between villages deep in the woods. Walking around the Barycz Valley gives you the opportunity to be in close contact with nature. Traveling for kilometers on footpaths, other tourists Hiking trails often run in places suitable for bird watching
These are nature paths that are most often marked out in nature reserves, and 19 of them are described in detail, along with their exact course, further in the guide. Illustrative walking map with marked trails is also available Øat www.dolinabaryczy.travel Download the Barycz Valley application Ø navigate the trails.
Hydrological structures divided the river and the trail into attractive, naturally diverse sections. Due to the collection of water to the ponds, the trail is not navigable along its entire length for most of the year. The highest water level is in spring and autumn, when fishermen drain water from the ponds (September-October). The canoe trail of the Barycz Valley begins in Odolanów and ends in Żmigród. Taking into account the specificity of the Barycz river, the route has been divided into 10 sections – 8 on Barycz, 2 on the Młynówka Sułowska canal. There are 15 weirs on the trail, of which 4 (Bolko, Sławoszowice, Sułów and Niezgoda) are never to be sailed and require kayaks to be carried. The others can be crossed when the locks are raised. 80 km of canoeing routes in the Barycz Valley
Barycz Valley canoe trail 80km of paddling with or against the flow. Without any special effort, because the Barycz, the right-bank tributary of the Odra River, with a decrease of 0.035%, is one of the laziest rivers in Poland. The canoe trail is a showcase of the region and one of the most interesting forms of spending free time close to nature. Most of the river catchment area is covered by the Natura 2000 program. It is ideal for amateurs, families with small children. From a kayak you can admire the nature and pristine nature of the valley in many places.
Canoeing on the Barycz river in the Natura 2000 area
There are 10 canoe routes in the Barycz Valley
There are signs on the route informing about dangerous piles, weirs and the possibility of passing them or not, places of disembarkation and launching of canoes, hydroelectric plants, tributaries and a kilometer of the river. Depending on the water level and expectations, you can decide on the length of the trip yourself, and the stops for launching and finishing off are agreed with the person who rents the kayaks. More on the sections of the canoe trail can be found later in the guide. Illustrative canoe map with marked routes also available Øat www.dolinabaryczy.travel Download the Barycz Valley application Ø navigate the trails.
ABC of the Barycz Valley
Barycz Valley horse trail
many variants of the journey that we can freely configure. The horse trail runs mainly through the forests of the forest divisions of Milicz, Oleśnica Śląska, Żmigród, Antonin and Krotoszyn.
n Do you know that… Near Milicz, by the ponds, in the place called “Ostoja”, one of the five Polish konik reserve farms in Poland is situated? You can read more about horse trails further on in the guide. An overview map with marked trails is also available Øat www.dolinabaryczy.travel Download the Barycz Valley application Ø navigate the trails.
Fishing 480 km of routes arranged in 6 loops were marked out within 8 municipalities and the largest Barycz Valley Landscape Park in Poland, from Żmigród in the west to Odolanów in the east. They lead along roads and paths, so you can reach almost every corner of the valley. Currently, a large part of this area is covered by the Natura 2000 program. The ecosystem in this area is protected thanks to numerous reserves and ecological areas. Many natural monuments grow here, and endangered species of animals and plants have also found shelter. There are many loops or connectors on the route leading to interesting places, stables, agritourism, towns or places of contact with other horse routes: Gościnna Wielkopolska, Wzgórza Trzebnickie, Dobra Widawa. Thanks to this, there are
Not only carp can be a fishing trophy in the Barycz Valley. Here you can catch sturgeon, pike, grass carp, perch, roach, tench, crucian carp ... The largest pond complex in Europe is a perfect place for fishing. Provided that we will do it in designated fisheries. Fishing in unspecified places is strictly forbidden in huge waters of breeding ponds. But fortunately, we have official fisheries at our disposal. In the guide, we describe the most popular ones. Don't worry, there are several dozen fishing positions, platforms, etc. on each of them – entanglement with your neighbor's fishing line is rather impossible. In most fisheries there is no obligation to present a fishing license, on many you can rent a fishing rod, and in the event of failure in fishing – eat fresh fish in a fry room or restaurant, because you will often find such objects near the fishery.
In the area of the Barycz Valley, cyclical horse riding events take place. May rally (long May weekend) – a star rally where participants come from different places (not only from the Barycz Valley) to one agreed place, and then “rally” for a few days around beautiful corners of the region. Horse Festival in Potasznia, municipality Milicz (August) – a two-day outdoor event organized by the inhabitants of the horse theme village – Potasznia. Hubertowiny in Przygodzice (September) – a one-day event for riders and horse lovers without their own mounts – fitness competitions in the saddle, horse and sled racing, chasing the “fox”. The culminating event is the traditional Carp Gallop race. Hubertus in Huta, municipality Odolanów (at the turn of October and November) – a traditional hunting run in honor of St. Hubert, the patron saint of riders, foresters and hunters. Hubertus in Piotrkosice, municipality Milicz (late October / November) – a traditional horse party in honor of the patron saint of horsemen and hunters – St. Hubert. A trip into the field by a horse-drawn caravan.
An avid angler can go to the water with his family. Not only the neighborhood, but even the fisheries themselves provide other attractions as well. These are playgrounds for children, mini-zoo and barbecue facilities. If you would like to combine a fishing trip with an overnight stay, no problem. There are agritourism farms, hotels and campsites in the vicinity of many fishing grounds. Information on where to fish can be found in every part of the guide – West, Central, East – in the “Actively” chapter. An overview fish map with marked fishing grounds also available Øat www.dolinabaryczy.travel Download the Barycz Valley application Ø navigate points.
Barycz Valley for families and recreation The region offers exceptionally many slow tourism attractions. Its axis is, as it were, Barycz – one of the laziest rivers in Poland. Penetrating the Barycz Valley not only from water is light, easy and pleasant. This largest nature reserve in Poland is crisscrossed by hundreds of kilometers of hiking and nature paths. There are many bicycle routes here, both for experienced cyclists, but also those that can be covered without effort even with small children (information in individual parts of the guide). Slow tourism is not only profiled physical activity, but also discovering the region in an original way. The “Colorful Carp Trail” (Øpp. 30–31), leading through the greatest attractions of the Barycz Valley, is a great opportunity for young tourists to get to know and experience them. On the trail, it is possible to visit architectural monuments, such as the Fishery Museum (Øp. 62), the windmill and “Bronisław” (Øp. 94), or educational facilities, such as the “House of Tree”, where you can learn how cones are extracted (Øpp. 96, 114), or KOM, located in the premises of the former baubles factory, where you can make your own Christmas bauble, which the Barycz Valley is famous for (Øpp. 92-93). A nice souvenir for children will be a map with stamps collected from individual points on the “Colorful Carp Trail”. And additional joy will be brought by the prize that can be won in cyclically organized competitions (information can be found on
facebook.com/szlakkarpia, and www.kolorowyszlakkarpia.barycz.pl). Traversing the path of the senses or an unusual trip in a horse-drawn carriage, combined with bird watching at the ponds of Milicz under the supervision of an experienced ornithologist will be a huge attraction not only for young tourists. Attractive, active leisure time in the form of traversing the rope park, cross-country trails, Nordic walking and mini-quads is the domain of the Campus “Domasławice” (Øpp. 115–116). In the Family Amusement and Education Park “Górecznik” (Øpp. 164–165) leisure stays are offered in the atmosphere of an amusement park: you can not only visit the dinosaur park, go zip-lining or go go-karting, but also, in the educational zone, enjoy various paths: insects, fungi, former village and fishing, or see the open-air museum of household appliances. On request, family tours of the Barycz Valley
accompanied by animators are offered by the company Usługi Turystyczne - Włodzimierz Ranoszek in the form of a magical field game “Bajowa Dolina Baryczy” or a visit to the castle in Żmigród “With Napoleon” (Øp. 61). The numerous attractions offered by adventure parks allow you to plan attractions for children even for the whole day. In many places, families can take a bath during summer trips. You cannot do it in the ponds, but there are numerous swimming pools and water parks. In the guide, in the family part, we describe each of them.
ABC of the Barycz Valley
Architectural pearls of the Barycz Valley Bog ore, half-timbered walls, hydrological structures, wooden buildings and old palaces – these are the most important elements of architecture characteristic of the Barycz Valley. But here you will also find impressive wooden buildings in the form of churches and palaces. The almost ubiquitous bog ore is sedimentary rock, the poorest of all iron ore, which precipitates from water in swamps and wet meadows. There are a lot of those in the Barycz Valley, after all, some of the ponds in the Barycz Valley were created in the excavations after the exploitation of ore, Bog ore many were enlarged, while obtaining this interesting building material. Small steel mills operated here based on local deposits. The fossilized ore was used to build houses. Thanks to its properties, they were dry and safe, because it is a natural lightning rod. The most impressive houses made of bog iron ore can be found in Krośnice, more precisely in the settlement called Ruda Krośnicka (behind the railway crossing, on the road to Krośnickie Ponds). “Iron Houses” can be found in Czatkowice. Buildings from the
18th century have been preserved here – apart from the houses made of bog iron ore, you can admire, among others, former farm complex, or a belfry. In search of traditional architecture of the Barycz Valley, it is worth visiting Ruda Milicka. Do-
A house in a traditional development, Ruda Milicka
cuments from the beginning of In the 17th century, tell of a smelting plant processing bog iron in this village. Today, there is a mill on the site of the steelworks, and a historic weir on the Prądnia River. It is worth going to the border of the “Stawy Milickie” reserve to a picturesque 19th-century forester's lodge built in a structure known as a Prussian wall. Buildings made of bog iron are not only rural houses or farm buildings. In Milicz this building material is an element of the ruins of the 14th-century castle, first of the prince's residence while he was in Milicz, and then of the seats of the owners of the so-called free state (in the years 1494-1590
Evangelical Church of the Holy Trinity in Twardogóra
Kurzbach, and in the years 15921797 Maltzan family). Much more impressive than the dark stripe in the fragment of the castle wall is a Roman style bog iron tomb (approx. 1.8 m high) near the fence, opposite the castle ruins. This is the resting place of Mrs. von Kurzbach, and according to legend – the murderers of Jadwiga Zarębianka, the daughter of the castellan of Milicz. The most beautiful evidence of the use of bog iron was the Gate of Peace (Triumphal Gate). It is the entrance gate to the palace, built according to the design of Leonard Schatzel to celebrate the victory over Napoleon. Its top was crowned with a huge lion sculpture. Unfortunately, in the 1970s-1980s, the gate was partially dismantled and only a small pedestal rema-
afternoon services in Polish were held here (Ømore on p. 109).
The ruins of the castle in Milicz
Water dams The characteristic elements of the local architecture are objects related to the Barycz river, its tributaries and ponds. These are weirs, dams and sluices that regulate the water level and allow you to travel along the Barycz waterway, and supply and drain water from the ponds. There are 9 weirs on the section from Odolanów to Żmigród (Uciechów, Wróbliniec, Potasznia, Gądkowice, Bolko, Sławoszowice, Sułów, Niezgoda, and Osiek). The most important object is the weir “Niezgoda”, also known as Göring’s Dam. It is also worth seeing the historic wooden weir “Bolko”, also known as the White Dam, one of the two oldest cylindrical weirs in Poland.
ined, the only trace of the original defensive walls of Milicz. Unfortunately, also the Black Gate at the classicist palace from the 18th century (which now houses the Forest School Complex) has not been fully preserved to this day (only side elements remained).
wa and of St. Peter and Paul, but also a 19th-century granary. The church of the Holy Trinity and Our Lady in Twardogóra was called the mainstay of Polishness, because until the end of the 19th century,
Half-timbered wall, timber frame (Prussian wall) This is the second element of architecture, apart from bog iron, characteristic of the Barycz Valley. The skeleton structure of the walls, where the load-bearing elements (posts and bolts) were made of wood, and the resulting spaces filled with clay mixed with straw (timber) or brick (half-timbered wall), were most often used in the construction of farm buildings as a less durable and much cheaper technique. For these reasons, this technique was used in the construction of country churches or churches of Peace or Grace. In the case of the latter, the imperial edicts only allowed the use of such an impermanent technique. The most important and the most beautiful example is the Church of Grace in Milicz (more Øpp. 89-90), modeled on the Świdnica Church of Peace, present on the UNESCO list. In Sułów you will find two such 18th-century churches (Ømore on p. 54), of Our Lady of Częstocho-
An important element of preserving the architectural values of the Barycz Valley has for many years been the promotion and support of construction based on architectural traditions: this applies to public buildings and small architecture, e.g. village community centers, shelters, tourist stops, but also hotels and restaurants.
n Do you know that…
A house made of bog iron in Krośnice
ABC of the Barycz Valley
Palaces and wooden architectural wonders The architectural landscape of the Valley is distinguished by palaces hidden mostly in beautiful old parks
and wooden, sacred and secular buildings – silent witnesses of the turbulent history of the Barycz Valley.
The Palace and Park Complex in Żmigród – the ruins of the palace, whose final, classicist shape was given by the creator of the Brandenburg Gate. The beginning of the end of Napoleon Bonaparte took place in this impressive seat of the Hatzfeldts when, in July 1813, Tsar Alexander, Prussian King Frederick William III, Grand Duke Konstantin and Field Marshal Kutuzov formed a coalition against Napoleon (more Øpp. 43-44).
The Maltzan Palace in Milicz – the former residence of the family, thanks to which the Barycz Valley experienced its economic boom – hosted Alexander, the Russian tsar, and boasts a magnificent knight's hall. Surrounded by an impressive park with exotic trees and the ruins of a medieval castle where the oldest toilet seat in Poland was found (Ømore on p. 90).
The palace of the von der Recke von Volmerstein family in Krośnice – a Renaissance-baroque seat, an element of the Krośnice-Wierzchowice palace and park complex, connected by a magnificent oak alley (in Wierzchowice the ruins of the palace were pulled down in 1988) (more Øpp. 100-101).
Ruins of the palace residence of the von Reichenbach family in Goszcz – an impressive architectural layout surrounded by a park, comparable to the palace in Wilanów (Ømore on p. 110).
The wooden church of St. Matthew the Abbot in Trzebicko is one of the 15 that have survived from a group of approx. 300 wooden churches built in Lower Silesia. Built in a framework construction and boarded with wooden boards, it attracts attention with its silhouette. Especially the interior impresses with the splendor of the folk baroque (Ømore on p. 85). St. Barbara’s Church in Odolanów with a shingled roof (Ømore on p. 152)
Hunting palace located in the village of Moja Wola near Sośnia, near Antonin, has an extremely picturesque body with a facade covered with cork oak bark imported from Portugal and local oak bark – the only one in Poland and one of the few in Europe (Ømore pp. 146-147).
The hunting palace of Prince Antoni Radziwiłł – larch, timbered with boards, on a bog iron foundation, built on a Greek cross plan. Upon entering, it surprises with a threestory hall with a decorative ceiling supported on a thick column hiding the chimney (Ømore on p. 159).
ABC of the Barycz Valley
“Colorful Carp Trail” – sightseeing with a stamp These are the most interesting places in this region, inspired by the drawings of the youngest inhabitants of the Barycz Valley – historical, recreational, scenic and other, all worth visiting. Attractions located in 8 municipalities of the area are marked with colorful
carp sculptures – the symbol of the Barycz Valley, made by professional artists. The “Colorful Carp Trail” is not only an educational trail, but also a field game. It consists in collecting
More about the “Colorful Carp Trail” on Like us on Facebook.com/szlakkarpia WE WILL NOTIFY YOU about the current competitions on the trail
stamps from all 30 places on a special map, photographing it and sending the photo to the address indicated in the regulations. The participants of the game take part in the drawing of attractive prizes (details on F/the carp trail in the Barycz Valley and www.kolorowyszlakkarpia.barycz.pl). All objects and places where you can get a stamp can be found in the chapters of the guide, and they are marked with the colorful trail logo.
PLACES on the colorful carp trail:
ABC of the Barycz Valley
“Barycz Valley RECOMMENDED”, are local products and dishes as well as souvenirs that educate Sustainable development usually sounds abstract and official. But in the Barycz Valley it is perfect for local products and dishes. The largest landscape park in Poland, vast areas subject to the rigors of the Natura 2000 program – such factors not only determined the direction of the Valley's development, excluding industry that was harmful to the environment, but also imposed a traditional, environmentally friendly method of land cultivation and animal and plant breeding. This directly translates into the quality of the local regional delicacies. The local certificate “Barycz Valley POLECA” is a proof of excellent quality of regional products and services. These are not only dishes and handicrafts, but also recreational and educational products and services, as well as accommodation and restaurants. The Barycz Valley RECOMMENDS < FISH. Carp reigns here. In addition to carp, it is worth recommending, among others, tench, grass carp, silver carp, crucian carp, pike or catfish. During regional events, it is worth trying especially smoked and fried carp. The original proposition is a paste made of Milicz carp and local vegetables with the addition of a special mixture of spices, perfect for sandwiches or toasts. < BAKERY. Real treats are bread and cakes baked using traditional methods. The best known are “Baryczok” and “Komyśniak”, but the rye bread of the bakery “Familijna” also boasts the certificate. Many of them are made on the basis of spring water and natural sourdough.
Harvesting grapes from the vineyard in Krośnice
< SOMETHING TO GO WITH BREAD. The Barycz Valley is known for its excellent sausages. It is home-made ham, ligaweczka, herbal ham, Old Polish sausage, crispy sausage, “bartosiówka” and many others – smoked using the traditional method, without preservatives and the so-called improvers, modified proteins, soy, fiber. It is also worth putting a slice of fragrant tomato on a slice of bread, which grows here under special conditions. < VEGETABLES AND FRUITS. In the orchards on the Krośnickie Hills, many fruit grow, that are used to produce juices (mainly apple) and grandma's preserves (mainly from raspberries, strawberries, apples and plums) – syrups, jams, preserves and plum jam. They are often fried in enameled pots on a wood-fired tiled stove, mixed by hand with wooden ladles, hand-poured, twisted. The treats are made according to old family recipes, and if they are sweetened, it is with cane sugar. In addition to the vegetable “classics”, dandelion syrup or pear mustard are made here, and birch water and young nettle juice appear seasonally. Vegetables from the farm in Karnice, which have not been changed for 60 years, enjoy a well-deserved fame. In self-fermentation, without preservatives and accelerators, without vinegar and without sweeteners, you may get white and red cabbage, cucumbers, but also cauliflower, garlic, radishes and beetroot. Healthy juices are also pressed from these vegetables. < HONEY. In the Barycz Valley, where nature-protected areas predominate, exceptionally ecological honeys are produced: dandelion, linden, multi-flower, goldenrod, acacia, raspberry, phacelia, honey-
dew coniferous and deciduous, buckwheat, rapeseed and heather.
Fruit preserves from Wierzchowice
< OILS. Linseed, rapeseed, camelina, sunflower, evening primrose, hemp, milk thistle – are cold pressed and not subject to filtration, but only self-sedimentation. They are poured into dark glass bottles so that they do not lose their precious values, which is why the production process is extended. Unlike refined oils, they have a distinct flavor and aroma specific to a given grain. They have a shorter shelf life, as it is a 100% natural product. < WINES. The mild and warm climate of the hills around Krośnice and Żmigród favors the cultivation of grapevines, which is why vineyards and cider factories are established here, and the drinks have won prestigious awards in wine competitions. The owners pride themselves on producing wine without stabilizers, preservatives or various additives. < HANDICRAFT. Dried plants are an excellent material for the production of interesting souvenirs in the form of wreaths, garlic
decorations, bouquets, Christmas decorations, etc. Real wonders of dried plants are created in Odolanów. Craftsmen more and more often see the need to create interesting practical souvenirs, for example backpacks and sachets with a carp or bicycle motif. Apart from regional products, local service providers are also proud of the “Dolina Baryczy POLECA” certificate. Cosy accommodation, restaurants, taverns and inns, where local products are served more and more often, including dishes known to guests from the “Fish to your heart’s content” dinner, organized as part of the “Carp Days”. The buildings attract with décor reminiscent of the fishing tradition and local architecture. Recreational and guide services, numerous rentals offer professional assistance in preparing a bicycle, canoeing trip, or a horse or carriage ride, etc. The developing fishing offer gives you a chance to meet suuuuuch a fish in “no kill” fisheries or fish them and consume on the spot. An interesting idea may be to hire a certified guide in the Barycz Valley, who will prepare an individual sightseeing route. You can find more about tourist products and services from the Barycz Valley at: www.DBpoleca.barycz.pl – it is the largest and most up-to-date database of tourist producers and service providers. We especially recommend SERVICES and PRODUCTS certified with the “Barycz Valley Recommended” Mark, characterized by a connection with the region, high quality, care for ecology, and mutual cooperation.
The largest database of offers from the Barycz Valley MORE
Souvenirs that educate Interesting souvenirs from the Barycz Valley are games, puzzles, atlases, coloring books and educational cards, and for the youngest – legends based on the ideas of teachers from schools from the Barycz Valley. Richly illustrated, colorful, high-quality products encourage parents and children to play together. Over the months following your visit here, they will remind you of the trip to the Barycz Valley and help to broaden knowledge about the area, nature and ecology. In the online store www.SKLEP.barycz.pl, you can also order gadgets related to the area, e.g. key rings, t-shirts, magnets, mugs. Souvenirs are available from an increasing number of points of sale and tourist information in the area. SKLEP.barycz.pl
Dried products from Odolanów
List of MANUFACTURERS and SERVICE PROVIDERS distinguished with the sign “Dolina Baryczy POLECA” Øpp. 206–209
ABC of the Barycz Valley
“Carp Days” in the Barycz Valley Participants of the events take part in the AWARD-taking. For each purchased ticket or a voucher received at a free event, participants choose a commemorative gadget or a local product, provided by entities with the “Barycz Valley RECOMMENDED” certificate. Opinions collected in exchange for
Fishing competition in Górecznik (Przygodzice commune) during the “Carp Days”
This is a unique series of events, scheduled for autumn weekends from September to mid-November. In the Barycz Valley, eight centuries of fishery management set the rhythm of the coexistence of man and nature. Autumn is a time of catches, which attracts crowds of birds, but also interested tourists and nature lovers. The “Carp Days” consists of nearly 80 events encouraging people to discover and taste the flavors of the Barycz Valley. There are numerous fishing competitions, canoeing trips, bicycle trips, ornithological observations, horse and carriage trips, and – probably the most popular – fish dinners “Fish to your heart’s content” in the restaurants and taverns of the Barycz Valley. The events are connected with tasting fish and local delicacies prepared according to unique recipes. The best dishes compete in the “Master Carp” competition and often find a permanent place in the restaurant's menu. Many events are especially family-friendly. This includes family role-playing games, guided tours. Ornithologists, educators, nature and history lovers will tell in an interesting way about the Barycz Valley during walks, carriage rides, tours or open days in education centers. A detailed program of the current edition can be found on www.DNIkarpia.barycz.pl (service open seasonally, announcing autumn events) Like Facebook.com/dnikarpia We will notify you about current events during “Carp Days”. DNIkarpia.barycz.pl
Jury deliberations in the “Master Carp” competition, where the best carp dishes are selected
souvenirs allow to improve the quality of organized events. They provide a picture of the audience (where they come from, what offer they expect), and most importantly, they allow to state that over 60% of them return to events once again. The measure of the popularity of
Stalls with local products at the outdoor event in Ostoja (Milicz) during demonstration catches
“Carp Days” is over 60 thousand visiting tourists and residents, over 5 thousand tickets sold, over 100 exhibitors, producers and local gastronomy, as well as over 50 organizers carrying out individual events.
Due to the multiplicity and variety – events during “Carp Days” are divided into individual categories to make it easier to find the interesting ones.
< Fish dinners – these are fish feasts prepared by the best restaurants in the Barycz Valley. They will make you fall in love with carp and other freshwater fish dishes. The fish from the ponds of the Barycz Valley come from local farms, which are grown in a three-year cycle on natural cereals.
Educational event at KOM in Milicz during “Carp Days”
< Educational events – what is the greatest wealth of the Barycz Valley – unique in Europe, you can learn, regardless of age, within the educational offer. Ornithologists, educators, nature and history lovers will present the secrets of the Barycz Valley in an interesting way during walks, carriage rides, excursions, open days in education centers.
A walk with an ornithologist in the “Stawy Milickie” Reserve, Stawno complex
< Active events – give the opportunity to discover wild and beautiful places that can be reached by horse-drawn carriage, bike, canoe, jogging or simply walking. Demonstration catches at the ponds in Krośnice
Fishing competition in Goszcz during “Carp Days”
< Fishing competitions – they can take you away from everyday rush and transfer you to another dimension – the great waiting for the fish to swallow the hook – especially in the early morning, when the Barycz Valley is the most beautiful.
Bicycle competition during the Hajstra Rally (Sośnie municipality)
< Outdoor events – delicious local products and dishes, talent concerts, feasts and excellent company of the inhabitants of the region as well as good fun – all this can be found at outdoor events organized in unique places of the Barycz Valley.
NATURE part of the Barycz Valley
Cranes in the “Stawy Milickie” reserve, Stawno complex, photo by A. Florczyk
The Barycz Valley is one of the best places in Europe for nature observation. In this part, in addition to information about the abundance of the local plants and birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects, we also provide practical information on where and when to observe them. If you do not have a specific place or idea for a trip, we suggest you to start planning by looking at the nature observer's calendar on pp. 178–179.
NATURE part of the Barycz Valley Nature observer’s calendar ............................................. 178–179 A bird watcher's guide .................................................... 180–183 You will meet these birds in the Barycz Valley ............... 184–193 Flora and fauna of the Barycz Valley – a compendium of knowledge ................................................................... 194–205 – Fish ................................................................................ 194–195 – Amphibians ................................................................... 195–197 – Reptiles ......................................................................... 197–198 – Amphibious and aquatic mammals ............................. 198–199 – Rut ................................................................................ 199–200 – Invertebrates ................................................................ 200–201 – Beetles under protection ............................................. 201–202 – Oaks in the Barycz Valley ............................................. 202–203 – Obligatory Barycz herbarium ....................................... 204–205 Recommended products and services in the Barycz Valley .................................................................... 206–209
NATURE part of the Barycz Valley
Nature observer’s CALENDAR January Pairs of white-tailed eagles make courtship flights, during which, by calling each other, they claw and tumble together. Otter traces can be seen on the snowy shores of the water, and otters themselves can be spotted at the ice holes on frozen rivers and ponds.
February The first snowdrops and spring snowflakes bloom in deciduous forests and old parks. Immediately after their arrival from wintering grounds, the cranes and greylag goose occupy their breeding territories. Beavers begin spring repairs around their burrows and lodges above the freezing waters.
March Moor frogs start their mating season, during which males turn blue. Male bitterns occupy breeding territories, which they announce with a loud hum. The first bats wake up from hibernation: common noctules, which at that time also fly in daylight. The forests resound with the mating drumming of woodpeckers. In the oak-hornbeam forests, the forest floor is covered with flowery carpets of lesser celandine, wood anemones, yellow anemones and yellow star-of-Bethlehem.
April Greylag chicks hatch from the eggs and leave the nests under the care of their parents. The mating of great crested grebes begin at the ponds. Birds "dance" together on the water and pass pieces of water plants from beak to beak.
May The first chicks appear in the colonies of gulls and terns, and in stork nests. Great bird concerts can be heard at dawn in parks, forests and woody areas. In the meadows, in the evenings and at night, you can hear the monotonous screeching of corncrakes. In alder forests, featherfoil and yellow iris blooms, and in the meadows the broad-leaved marsh orchid.
June A swarm of a protected great Capricorn beetle begins among the oaks. At the ponds and rivers you can hear the singing of the common rosefinch – one of the latest arriving birds. The period of activity of the adult forms of the emperor dragonfly, the greatest dragonfly, begins. In the meadows, the protected fern adder's-tongue produces its characteristic sporangia spike. The ponds are covered with pink flowers of Persicaria amphibia.
July Grebes lead their chicks, often carrying them on their backs. In the fields and drained ponds, they gather after the brood of lapwings. The rare and protected Nymphoides peltata blooms in yellow. The period of the greatest activity of the very rare hermit beetle begins. Then you can smell a characteristic plum scent nearby.
August After flowering, the calla produces its characteristic red fruit. The period of sporulation of the floating water fern begins. Pink heather flowers appear in pine forests. In shallow water ponds flocks of charadriiformes stop for feeding, including plovers, dunlins, common sandpipers and many other species.
September In shallower places, on the ponds, black storks gather before departure. In the evenings, flocks of cranes flock to the vast reed beds. Red deer rutting begins in the forests.
October From the end of September through October and November, carp are being caught in the Barycz Valley, during which the bottom of the ponds becomes an excellent canteen for many species of birds. Hundreds of white herons gather when the water is drained from the ponds in the shallows. The smallest and the rarest of the swans – tundra swans – stop at the ponds during their passages.
November On the ponds' roosting grounds and field feeding grounds, thousands of flocks of migratory geese gather. Due to the ongoing catches, flocks of young and old white-tailed eagles gather in the drained ponds, numbering up to 100 individuals.
December In the unfrozen waters, there are herds of common goldeneyes and mergansers, among which you can spot the smew – newcomers from the far north.
NATURE part of the Barycz Valley
A bird watcher's HANDBOOK
Becoming a birdwatcher, is not difficult at all. However, it requires basic knowledge to begin with. You need to prepare thoroughly for each, even the shortest trip. n What to take? Bird watching binoculars will be essential, ideally with a 7-12x magnification and a 25-50 mm objective lens diameter. If you plan to observe from a long distance, it is worth getting a telescope, preferably with a magnification of between 20 and 50 times. But many observations can also be made with the naked eye. The bird recognition atlas may be in paper form,
but you should install a bird voice recognition app that also includes descriptions of individual birds. A raincoat and off-road shoes, and rubber boots are often useful, not only in wetlands, because the morning dew can also soak the feet quite effectively. You don't have to wear camouflage clothing, but too bright and contrasting colors will make you visible from a distance. Birds are visual learners, so colorful clothing will scare them off easily. In general, it is sufficient to walk calmly and avoid any sudden movements. Maintaining silence and suppressing shouts, even those of delight, helps a lot in observing.
n When should I watch birds? Winter is the best time to start your adventure with birdwatching. Birds are less skittish at this time, and they often approach towns and villages. Late winter and early spring mean the beginning of spring flight for many birds. Then it is worth
"Pod Rdzawoszyim" lodge by the Stary Pond
looking closely around the fields where feathered travellers rest and feed. In late spring, it is best to take a trip to the forest or park at dawn, which resounds with the buzz of songs. In summer and autumn, let's look for a drained pond, which is a great canteen for groups of small and large birds, resting after raising their young and gaining strength before the autumn departure.
n What birds at what time? We observe forest birds in the early morning when they sing intensely. Predatory birds, called Accipitriformes (clawed ones), are easiest to spot from the south, when they can rise in air chimneys, or "bubbles" of warm air. People, when observing birds of prey, use this thermal phenomenon for gliding flights. Water birds, i.e. the most interesting ones in the Barycz Valley, can be watched throughout the day. There are also species active at night, and contrary to appearances, these are not only owls. They include hidden inhabitants of reeds, that is little BITTERN NIV–IX, WATER RAIL NIII–XI and LITTLE CRAKE NIV– X, forest insect hunter, i.e. NIGHTJAR NIV–IX, and CORNCRAKE living in fields and meadows NIV–X and QUAIL NIV–X. The weather is also important. It is best to choose a day with light or even very cloudy, but without rain (birds do not like it dripping on their heads). Even the
tight layer of high and middle clouds allows enough sunlight to pass through, and thanks to it we will avoid observations against the sun, which are often unsuccessful. Moreover, in such weather, birds are often more lethargic and less likely to run away.
n Where to watch? In fact, everywhere. In the Barycz Valley, however, special places have been created to facilitate watching the life of birds. These are towers and lookouts where the observer can not only hide from the rain, but also remain invisible to animals.
Bird watching in the "Radziądz" complex (western part of the Barycz Valley)
n STARY POND Stary Pond is located in the municipality of Żmigród, between Radziądz and Niezgoda. It is the largest pond in the Barycz Valley. On its north-east there is a two-story observation tower on the shore. Access: at the intersection in Niezgoda, we go north along the asphalt road towards Olsza; after 750 m turn to the west on the dirt road, following the signs of the blue access trail, or walk along the blue trail, about 2.5 km from the parking lot in front of the village community center.
When observing, you should always remember that birds are sentient, living creatures, and most of them are legally protected. Disturbing them not only causes stress, but also changes their behavior to unnatural. We should be particularly careful during the breeding season, when the birds make their nests and lead the chicks out. Staying close to the nest (even out of curiosity) may result in the abandonment of the brood.
NATURE part of the Barycz Valley
A lodge by the Niezgoda Pond
n NIEZGODA POND I
n SŁUPICKI STARY POND
Located near Niezgoda in the municipality of Żmigród, near a convenient parking lot, where we can find a traditional roofed hideout "Pod Kormoranem". Access: in the center of Niezgoda, from the village common room (parking lot with signs) to the visible concrete shore of the pond, then following the markings, a dike at the pond about 100 m.
Before the entrance from Milicz to the village of Ruda Milicka there is a lookout "Pod Rdzawoszyim". Its name is related to the red-necked grebes found in the pond. Access: from Ruda Milicka along the road towards Milicz; 350 m west from the last buildings, on the northern side of the road, there are educational boards and a hideout by the pond.
Bird watching in the "Stawno" complex
n POLNY POND
(central part of the Barycz Valley)
The lodge is located on the south-east shore of the Polny pond. Access: from the fishing farm in Stawno to the east along the road to Dyminy, after 1.2 km on the left you will see educational boards and a hideout.
n GRABOWNICA POND At the Grabownica pond, near the village of the same name, there is an observation tower named "Wieża Ptaków Niebieskich” (“Tower of the Blue Birds"). It is a structure almost 15 meters high with viewing platforms on three floors. Access: leaving Grabownica in the direction of Czatkowice, we follow the asphalt road; at the bend by the weir, following the markings, approx. 100 m along the path to the tower on the edge of the pond visible from the road.
n GADZINOWY DUŻY POND The lodge, which is also an element of the nature path, is located on the south-east shore of the pond. Access: in the village of Nowy Zamek, at the height of the school, along a dirt road to the west. (together with the green hiking trail and the nature trail). After approx. 300 m, a dyke hut by the pond is visible.
Bird watching in the eastern part of the Barycz Valley n TRZCIELIN NOWY POND There is a small observation tower at the Trzcielin Nowy pond near the village of Trzcieliny. Access: from the village of Trzcieliny along an asphalt road to the south; 100 m from the last buildings, we turn south-east on the way to Dębnica; after 150 m you will see the tower above the pond.
Places for BIRD OBSERVATIONS Observation towers | Stary pond – the "Radziądz" complex; Grabownica pond "Tower of Blue Birds"
(near the village of Grabownica) – the "Stawno" complex; Trzcielin Nowy pond (near the village of Trzcieliny) Watch rooms | Niezgoda pond, hunting lodge "Pod Kormoranem" (near the village of Niezgoda); Słupicki Stary pond, the lookout "Pod Rdzawoszyim" (near the village of Ruda Milicka) – "Stawno" complex; Gadzinowy Duży pond (near the village of Nowe Grodzisko) – the "Stawno" complex; Polny pond (near the village of Dyminy) – the "Stawno" complex
“Wieża Ptaków Niebieskich” (“The Tower of Blue Birds") at the Grabownica Pond
A lodge by the Słupicki Stary Pond
NATURE part of the Barycz Valley
You will meet THESE BIRDS in the Barycz Valley There are nearly 300 bird species in the Barycz Valley, of which about 170 now regularly nest here. Vast rushes, reed and earth islands, quiet bays, inaccessible alder trees and old oaks on dikes – these are ideal places to set up a nest and breed offspring. n Breeding birds Of the species that breed regularly in the Barycz Valley, the easiest to spot are COOTS in NI-XII, which are not as afraid of humans as other birds. That is why they quite often build nests from aquatic plants in
not very conspicuous plumage, has almost disappeared from our reservoirs, and scientists are unable to determine why it happened. There are so few of them that they sometimes find it difficult to find a partner. Common coot
quite open places, close to the dike. These birds with black plumage and a bald head above their beak (hence their name) are often confused with ducks with which they are not related at all. Coots belong to the rostella family, distant cousins of the cranes.
Therefore, they often cross with relatives from other species. In the Barycz Valley also breed: the MALLARD DUCK from NI-II and the much rarer (although still found on all major pond complexes): GADWALL NI-XII, GAR-
Common pochard duck
The Barycz Valley is the only place in Poland where FERRUGINOUS DUCK has never stopped nesting NIII-XI. It is not easy to notice among the similar and much more numerous TUFTED DUCKS in NI-XII* and COMMON POCHARD NI-XII. There are only a few dozen pairs of ferruginous ducks in Poland, half of them in the ponds of the Barycz Region (in the complexes "Radziądz", "Stawno", "Ruda Sułowska", "Żeleźniki", "Goszcz" and on the Rudym pond). This duck, with
GANEY NIII-X, EURASIAN TEAL NI-XII and SHOVELER NI-XII. The ducks and their little ones swim in the ponds from late spring until the end of summer holidays. Drakes do not care about their offspring at all: their role is to pass on their own genes. All the labor to raise the chicks is on the females, and the females often lead other chicks. It even happens that their little ones come from other species of ducks. Much more protective are the fathers of the small GREYLAG GOOSE NI-XII, which are the only nesting geese in Poland. Together with their mothers, they
small fish, frogs and other water delicacies straight into their beaks, but also sometimes carry the little ones on their backs. Four species of these great diving birds nest in the Barycz Valley – in addition to THE COMMON GREAT CRESTED GREBE NI-XII and THE COMMON GREBE NI-XII, we will meet here THE RARER RED-NECKED GREBE in NIII-XI with a voice that resembles a pig squeal (occurs in small, shallow, overgrown fry ponds, incl. in Sanie, Ruda Sułowska, Stawno, Potasznia and Drożdżęcin and in small ponds near Wierzchowice, Możdżanów or in the "Wydymacz" reserve near Antonin), and the NIII-XI black-necked grebe, who usually nests in colonies of gulls and terns (recently only in the complexes "Stawno", "Żeleźniki" and "Goszcz"). However, the youth of birds are in danger. It is the NIII-X MARSH HARRIER, the only one among our birds of prey so closely related to the waters. He does not even build a nest in a tree, like his cousins, but in reeds. Mash harriers are real air acrobats. It is easiest
Great Reed Warbler
lead the chicks among the reed archipelagos and bays. Over 400 families of greylag goose live in the Barycz Valley, which is the largest breeding population of this geese in Poland and one of the largest in Europe. On the other hand, the parents of small grebes are especially caring. Not only do they give their children
Great Crested Grebe
to see their fantastic stunts at the ponds in April. Then the male, showing off in front of the female, tries to win her favor.
n Inhabitants of reeds
In the spring, the rattling singing of NIV-X GREAT REED WARBLERS, NIV-X EURASIAN REED WARBLER and NIV-X SEDGE WARBLER is heard from there, inconspicuous birds from the warbler family. This group also includes the much rarer NIV-IX SAVI'S WARBLER, whose uniform, prolonged rattle is the background for the "real" singing of other species
NATURE part of the Barycz Valley
voices. They belong to the rails family. While the NIII-XI WATER RAIL and the NI-XII COMMON MOORHEN are quite common species in our country, their close cousin, NIV-X LITTLE CRAKE, is very rare and listed in the Red Book describing rare and endangered species in Poland. The easiest way to meet this small and very hidden bird is in the "Stawno" complex and on the Stary pond near Radziądz.
n Colony birds Bearded reedling (male)
Among passerine birds, which also include warblers, the most interesting is BEARDED REEDLING in NI-XII. It is a small bird with a characteristic long tail and a voice resembling bells. Since it is rare in Poland, it has been entered into the Polish Red Book of Animals. The size of the bearded reedling is very variable. In good years, even 50 breeding pairs were recorded in the "Stawno" complex, and the breeding bearded reedlings were also observed near Radziądz, Ruda Sułowska, Potasznia and Przygodzice. After severe winters, this species can disappear completely for some time. Reed beds are also inhabited by two very hidden and mysterious species from the heron family. In spring and summer, among the ponds of all the main complexes, you can hear a loud humming of THE
Smaller or larger flocks gather during foraging during the passages period. Also in colonies, some species build nests and raise young.
Interestingly, not only one bird species lives in colonies – often the neighbors in these crowded neighborhoods are close or distant cousins. One of such pairs, which occurs together in the Barycz Valley, is THE GRAY HERON NI-XII and THE CORMORANT NI-XII. Both birds most often build nests in tall trees and eat mostly live fish. This diet causes a lot of problems for both species, because in breeding ponds they are treated by people as pests – they are often scared A pair of little bittern
BITTERN in NI-XII, which is deceptively reminiscent of the sound of blowing into an empty bottle. It's much harder to hear its smaller cousin EURASIAN BITTERN NIV-IX, which makes sounds that sound like the strangled bark of a dog. The bittern is a little less common than the Eurasian bittern, but it is still present in most of the main complexes (only except Goszcz region and ponds in the Greater Poland part). A dozen or so years ago, in the vast reed areas of the "Stawno" complex, there were breeds of the NIV-X PURPLE HERON, a species closely related to the common gray heron, but with its hidden behavior resembling a bittern. The presence of three other inhabitants of the rushes, similar to the coot, can also be seen from the
away and cannot set up nests, and some individuals are even shot. In the Barycz Valley, people allow herons and cormorants to breed only in a few places. Birds gather in colonies because only this way can they defend themselves against predators. Cormorants and herons can be very unpleasant to a potential enemy, especially from May to July, when chicks hatch from the eggs. Each intruder is "treated" with digested pieces of food swallowed by the young, that is, in this particular situation, with not very nice-smelling fish remains. Such nesting estates can be found in the Barycz Valley only in a few places: in recent years at the Jelenie ponds in the "Radziądz" complex (the largest colony: over 100 pairs of cormorants and twice as many gray herons live there), at the Górnik pond in the "Potasznia" complex and in the Pardalin forest near the Przygodzickie Ponds (the last colony inhabited only by herons). Non-breeding individuals of both species are observed at every pond with fish. A good place to observe cormorants is the Słoneczny Górny pond in the "Stawno" complex, where hundreds of these birds stay on a tree-lined island. We can watch both herons and cormorants practically all year round. Only in harsh winters, when the waters freeze, most of them leave the Barycz Valley, although even then the most persistent individuals stay on small surfaces of unfrosted water.
getation, river terns make their nests. About 400 pairs of them nest here. When a threat comes, the chicks of gulls and terns hide in all possible places, and the parents take over the burden of chasing away the uninvited guest. Typically, a frontal attack by pecking and screaming colony hosts will successfully drive the predator away. However, it is worth remembering that on the same islands there are great CASPIAN GULLS in NI-XII, very similar to the ghostly title characters of Hitchcock's Birds. They are largely predatory and often hijack young species of smaller species that nest next door themselves. White storks are often the terror of colonies, and they fly to catch the chicks as if they were part of their own pantry.
n Strange houses of swallows Flocks of SAND MARTINS NIV-IX often appear at the Rudy Pond. These close relatives of the commonly known HOUSE MARTINS NIV-X and NIII-X BARN
n Seagulls and terns On the islands of the Rudy Pond near Ruda Żmigrodzka, we can observe the broods of GULLS and TERNS in NIV-X. Most of the local bird inhabitants are BLACK-HEADED GULLS in NI-XII. In 2006, ornithologists counted a total of over 3,000 nesting pairs of our most common gull on three islands. Among them, recently, several pairs of similar, but much rarer MEDITERRANEAN GULL NIII-XI, also breed here. In places where the islands are still devoid of higher ve-
SWALLOWS occurring in the vicinity of humans also nest in colonies. However, they chose an unusual way of building nests. They dig burrows in high sandy slopes. Through binoculars, we will notice that the steep shores of the islands are punctured with swallow holes like a stra-
NATURE part of the Barycz Valley
iner. They establish their sand bank colonies not only on islands or pond shores, but also in sandy slopes away from larger waters. Such places in the Barycz Valley can be found near Majtka, near Radziądz or near Niezgoda.
n Swan It can weigh over 20 kg and is the heaviest Polish bird. The popular opinion is that he is an exceptionally
faithful partner, hence the stories about swans that commit suicide after losing their "spouse". But these are legends. First of all, they can be aggressive, so you should not get too close to them. At the ponds, you can often see couples leading their little ones. The male generally swims first, wings high. The degree to which they are directed upwards is a clear signal of the mood of the family head. You should not get too close, especially when the male's wings are almost at the height of the head. This means that the male can attack and, for example, hit you painfully with the wing. It should be remembered that this is the behavior of THE MUTE SWAN in NI-XII, but in the Barycz Valley you can also meet WHOOPER SWANS NI-XII and the rarest TUNDRA SWANS, NII-IV, NX-XII. Mute swan, however, is the most popular. It is easy to see, but still in the mid-20th century, it took a lot of luck to meet this beautiful bird. Swan occurred then only in several places in Poland. Immediately after World War II, only 50 pairs of these birds nested in our country. Most of them nested on Masurian lakes, while in the south of the country the brood of the only (!) pair was observed in the ponds of Milicz, and more precisely in the "Stawno" complex. Why? Swans were under protection only after the end of World War II. Previously, they were hunted for meat, writing pens, tiny bones for fishing hooks, and even for the skin from the neck, which was used to make cosmetic powder. Today, only in the Barycz Valley itself, there are nests of 70-80 pairs of mute swans. In summer, they gather in secluded areas, where they exchange their plumage within a few weeks.
40 years ago the Whooper Swan could only be found in Poland during flights. From the 1980s, quite unexpectedly, it began to settle in our country. The first breeding populations started in Lower Silesia, initially on the Oder River, and then also in the Barycz Valley. Currently, up to 10 pairs of these birds nest here, and flocks of up to several dozen individuals can be found during passages. We can distinguish whooper swans from their mute cousins by the beak: it is different, yellow at the base with a black tip, while the mute swan has an orange-red beak. The names of both species indicate an important distinguishing feature: while the mute swan hardly makes any sounds, the whooper often shrieks loudly with its trumpeting voice. Whooper swans are easiest to observe at the ponds of the "Stawno", "Ruda Sułowska", "Krośnice" and "Goszcz" complexes, as well as on the Rudy pond, as well as in the Barycz backwaters in spring (e.g. in the meadows of Odolanów or near the Jamnik ponds).
n White-tailed eagle When birds sitting on the water suddenly soar into the air in crowds and circle over the surface of the pond, it is worth looking at the sky. The white-tailed eagle probably appeared – our largest winged predator. An adult bird is easy to recognize by its snow-white tail shining from a distance, its yellow beak and its bright head. The WHITE-TAILED EAGLE in NI-XII causes panic among other birds and it is hardly surprising. Its powerful wings, looking like two wide planks, can have a span of up to 2.5 m. From a distance, a huge beak is visible, capable of tearing any victim apart. Only swans and small birds, unworthy of the ruler's gaze, can feel safe – any other water bird is a potential dish on the white-tailed menu. The main meal, however, is fish. White-tailed eagles await a real feast during autumn catches in abandoned ponds, where a lot of dead fish remain. This great predator will not despise any car-
rion – it eats dead fish as well as birds and mammals. The white-tailed eagle that walks on the pond floor looks more like a giant turkey than a mighty eagle. A white-tailed eagle on land, too slow, is no longer as dangerous as in the air. The abundance of animals that can be included in the diet of white-tailed eagles, and many places convenient for building nests make the Barycz Valley
NX-IV, THE LESSER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE NX-III or PINK-FOOTED GOOSE NX-IV. The morning flights of geese to the feeding grounds are a wonderful spectacle. At dawn, sometimes before sunrise, thousands of birds soar into the air with the roar of their wings and loud gagging. They circle the pond several times, forming keys, then break into flocks and fly away to eat into the surrounding fields and meadows. We observe this unusual phenomenon in February and March as well as October and November. Geese, not finding food in the ponds, feed on grasses and harvest debris. Water reservoirs are only a lodging place for them. Milder winters mean that some years some geese stay in the Barycz Valley throughout December and January, although their numbers are not as impressive then as in spring and autumn. During this time it is easy to meet the fish-eating cousins of
a great place to live for these predators. Although only a dozen pairs breed here, white-tailed eagles from other regions also come to the ponds during the catching period. The best places to look for these predators are the "Jamnik", "Radziądz", "Ruda Sułowska" pond complexes and the Rudy pond in the west parts of the Valley, as well as the Stawno and Potasznia ponds in the central part. Most researchers of our history agree that the white-tailed eagle is the prototype of the eagle in the Polish state coat of arms. The white-tailed eagle has feathers falling on its feet, and the golden eagle does not. It is enough to look at the Polish coin to see which bird has feathered feet.
n Migrants In spring and autumn, the ponds in the Barycz Valley become the scene of a wonderful spectacle. In the local reservoirs, wild geese have chosen a place to rest, following the trail that connects the breeding grounds in the tundra and winter refuges in Western Europe. Few species form such as huge flocks as wild geese. During their passages, they gather in huge groups, sometimes consisting of several tens of thousands of individuals. Geese in these clusters belong to one of the two most numerous species – TUNDRA BEAN GEESE in NI-XII and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE in NI-XII. They are close relatives of the Greylag Goose that nests on the ponds in the Barycz Valley. Among the goose visitors there are also representatives of rarer species, such as THE BARNACLE GOOSE
ducks – COMMON GOLDENEYE I-XII and COMMON MERGANSER I-XII. Many birds in Europe are migratory animals. They often travel thousands of kilometers between breeding grounds and winter grounds. That is why not only places where they build nests and have chicks out are important for them, but also refuges during migrations and wintering. More than a hundred species of wetland birds regularly stop at the ponds in the Barycz Valley. When the farms drain some of the ponds after the autumn catch of fish, the shallow water turns into
Great white heron
NATURE part of the Barycz Valley
RINGED PLOVER in NIII-X and COMMON RINGED PLOVERS in NIII-X, COMMON SANDPIPERS NIV-X, DUNLINS NIII-XI and RUFFS NIII-X. A trained eye will spot among them the much rarer (though regularly found here) WHIMBRELS in NIV-IX, RED KNOTS in NVII-X, GREY PLOVERS NIV-V, NVIII-XI or RED-NECKED PHALAROPE in NVII-X. The once very rare ones appear more and more often: THE PIED AVOCET NIV-XI and THE MARSH SANDPIPER NIV- IX.
a rich canteen for birds. Among them, THE GREAT EGRET reigns in NI-XII. It looks like our gray heron, but the color of the feathers is definitely lighter. Until recently, the great egret was a very rare guest in the Barycz Valley, similarly to the rest of Poland. These herons were the victims of hunting. They were shot for the beautiful feathers they wear during the mating season. These feathers, called “rajers”, were a very desirable decoration of a woman's hairstyle or hat. The current increase in the number of herons in the breeding grounds in southern Europe means that this beautiful bird appears more often in Poland. Although the great egret does not nest in the Barycz Valley, it can be found here all year round. Its largest clusters are observed in the fall. Then, in large ponds with shallow water, it is easy to observe herds of up to 300 feeding individuals. When the descending water becomes too shallow for herons and other typically aquatic birds, the muddy bottom of the ponds becomes overwhelmed by waders. We meet these relatively unknown birds in the Barycz Valley in spring and autumn. The most popular of them are WOOD SANDPIPER NIV-X, SPOTTED REDSHANK NIV-XI, COMMON GREENSHANK NIV-XI, LITTLE
n Exotic species Sometimes they are victims of a storm. When a bird flying to hot countries falls into a raging storm over the Atlantic, the wind blows it to a completely different place. For example to Europe. The confused traveler wanders a foreign continent and sometimes ends up in the Barycz Valley. But this is only one of the reasons for the unexpected visits of exotic visitors to our ponds. Sometimes the birds just get the direction wrong, accidentally extend the route, or when they get lost they follow other gregarious species. The Barycz Valley has hosted such stray birds more than once. THE BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER (a shorebird bird that looks like a miniature ruff) and THE RING-NECKED DUCK (very similar to and closely related to our tufted duck) came here from the other side of the Atlantic. A wader bird, RED PHALAROPE comes from the Arctic Tundra, which has the ability to swim in deep water, which is rare in this group, THE PECTORAL SANDPIPER and THE POMARINE SKUA – another relative of gulls with the habits of a bird of prey. A MOUSTACHED WARBLER (a cousin of our sedge warbler) flew to Barycz from the Mediterranean. In 1853, for the first time THE GREAT WHITE PELICAN that lives by the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and in Poland
is known from the zoo, was found here. From those regions also THE PALLAS’S GULL, THE BLACK-WINGED STILT (another plover bird that looks like a miniature stork) and THE SOCIALBE LAPWING threatened with complete extinction. THE RED-BREASTED GOOSE is often lost, the most colorful and at the same time the rarest of geese appearing in Poland. This species nests in the Siberian tundra and spends winter in the South-West. regions of Asia. Barnacles on their way to wintering grounds often get lost and join other flocks heading towards Europe. Why do birds migrate? The reason for moving out seasonally is the lack of food and the shorter day length. Therefore, wandering species that will not find food in winter, i.e. birds that feed on flying insects or amphibians. Temperature itself only indirectly influences migration. Fish-eating aquatic birds such as the cormorant, gray heron and great crested grebe are good examples. During normal Central European winters, most of the waters are covered with ice, making these species unable to get food. During mild winters, the waters stopped freezing, and these three fish-eaters began to stay in our country throughout the winter. Geese, on the other hand, eat plant food that they get on land. Therefore, even a cold winter is not a problem for them, as long as there is not too much snow – in such conditions, geese stay with us until spring. However, if the snow cover becomes too thick, these birds are unable to dig for food. Then they must fly away to where they can feed.
n Forest birds Seven species of woodpeckers live in the forests of Barycz, which gives the Barycz Valley a very good ecological testimony. The natural value of a forest is the greater, the more old and dying trees it contains. It is a habitat of insects, fungi and microorganisms, which are a natural canteen for birds. Most of our woodpeckers cannot carve a hole in a healthy young tree. Therefore, they need aged trees for this, as well as sick ones, where they can always find food. Although in Poland THE GREY-HEADED WOODPECKER is quite rare in NI-XII, it can be observed in the deciduous forests of the Barycz Valley. It also nests in old parks and alleys on dikes. Since ants are its delicacy, it is seen more often on the ground than other woodpeckers. The easiest way to find it is in alder and riparian forests near Żmigród, but also at the ponds of the "Stawno", "Krośnice" or "Ruda Sułowska" complexes, and even in the palace park in Milicz. The more popular BLACK WOODPECKER in NI-XII occurs practically in all the larger forests on the Barycz river. Every year, it forges a new nesting hole for himself, and the old, abandoned place is usually occupied by a different bird, a squirrel, a giant bat or a family of hornets. The body length of an adult black woodpecker reaches up to half a meter, so it makes large hollows only in old and wide trees. It can be an oak, pine or other tree. In the following years, very different species can lay their eggs in such a hollow, such as the little-known forest STOCK DOVE NII-XI or the COMMON GOLDENEYE – a duck bird that lives is tree hollows.
NATURE part of the Barycz Valley
The presence of the black woodpecker is used by the very rare BOREAL OWL NI-XII – one of our smallest owls, an adult bird barely reaches the size of a thrush. This species is referred to as boreal-mountain, because it occurs in northern Poland and in the mountains, where spruces grow. The Barycz Valley lies beyond the compact range of this owl, but quite recently a few pairs were found in the forests between Sułów and Jamnik. It is a typically nocturnal species, which, contrary to appearances, is not the norm among owls. Coniferous forests are also inhabited by another mysterious night bird. We mean the EUROPEAN NIGHTJAR NIV-IX, which lives where the pine forests growing on the sands are intersected by clearings and young forests. Such places can be found in the area of Radziądz, Sułowo or at the "Ruda Sułowska" complex. It is in such more open places that nightjar hunt insects on warm summer nights. In the past, people often saw them flying around grazing livestock, where there are always more insects hanging around. The nocturnal lifestyle, the silent flight and the large "mouth" with a short beak (which was used by a bird just to swallow flying insects) seemed very suspicious to shepherds in the past. Therefore, it was considered that this strange bird drinks the milk of farm animals. This superstition was reflected in the old Polish and English name of the nightjar, which is a “kozodój” (“goatsucker”). Many of the forests of the Barycz Valley have preserved their wet character to this day, and some of them are even flooded. Such places, usually rarely visited by people, are fond of the NIII-IX BLACK STORK. This forest relative of the white stork, unlike
its cousin, used to avoid people, and built nests in old trees, away from settlements. Recently, however, researchers have observed that this species overcomes the fear of humans, which is why it can be observed more often. Fish are very important in the diet of the black stork, so it is easy to find storks also in shallow ponds when the water is drained from them. The easiest way to see it is in the area of the "Radziądz", "Ruda Sułowska" and "Stawno" complexes. It seems that people are no longer so afraid of the equally skittish CRANE in NII- XII. Until recently, it used to live in inaccessible alder forests and mid-forest swamps. This bird's great caution made it easier to hear its loud voice, known as the clangor, than to see it. Now more and more cranes can be seen near the village. Birds have learned to nest also in reeds on ponds, and during their passages they can be found in cultivated fields. The Barycz Valley, which abounds in rich habitats and feeding grounds, is a dream home for cranes, therefore as many as 100 pairs nest, and as many as several thousand of these dignified birds stop here. In early spring, the cautious observer can witness the marvelous mating dance of the cranes. In summer, the cranes become extremely secretive. If then we manage to meet this long-legged inhabitant of the wetlands, he will run away from us on foot, because this is when he replaces all the ailerons in the wing and loses the ability to fly. Cranes can be found practically in the entire Barycz Valley, during migration, often on ordinary farmlands. We will see a wonderful spectacle of evening gatherings of these birds in autumn at the Jelenie ponds
in the "Radziądz" complex, in the nearby "Jamnik" complex or at the Grabownica pond in the "Stawno" complex, where the birds can be watched from the tower near the village of Grabownica.
n Little songbirds They are not easy to see, although they are common and often very colorful. Despite their small size, they are very important, if only because of their number, representatives of the bird world. Small passerine birds singing are best heard on April and May mornings. The simplest to remember is the simple "cilp-calp" of COMMON CHIFFCHAFF NIII-X. You can also often hear the rhythmic three-part verse of THE CHAFFINCH NI-XII, with a characteristic falling cascade in the longest middle part. The BLACKBIRD in NI-XII produces dignified and deep tones. His close relative, SONG THRUSH, the NIII-X singer uses similar instruments, but plays more lively, and repeats almost every fragment of the song twice. A small ROBIN in NI-XII begins with a soft squeal, after which it explodes with a pearl trill. The even smaller WREN NI-XII surprises with a fiery verse, in the middle of which we hear a rattling sound like a series of heavy machine guns. In late spring, from the crowns of tall trees, a flute "zofija" EURASIAN GOLDEN ORIOLE NIV-IX will reach us, and from the lower branches, THE ICTERINE WARBLER NV-IX will recite his "dad-beats".
All these trills and whistles of passerine birds (to which these species belong) have one purpose: to lure the female into the male's territory, and while her eggs and chicks incubate her, signal to competitors that this place is already taken.
n STORKS in Przygodzice
The stork's nest in Przygodzice is popular all over the world. Annually, they are watched by over five million people, including bird lovers from the USA, China, Brazil, Laos, Australia and even from the Ivory Coast and the exotic Cayman Islands. All thanks to the camera monitoring the socket. Its recording, broadcast live over the Internet, is available to everyone. Since 2006, storks have been nesting in Przygodzice, called the "Dziedzic and Adventure" by Internet users. Also, all the young born here receive their own names. They are revealed by voting on the website dedicated to the local storks. Transmisja z Przygodzice www.bociany.ec.pl is part of the "Close to Storks" project, which was created as part of the program of the South Wielkopolska Group of the Polish Society for the Protection of Birds. Poland is the most important sanctuary of the WHITE STORK in March – September in the world. About 25% of all storks nest here. In a way, storks have been protected here for centuries – in the common law, which required care for their nests and did not allow them to be harmed. Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer storks recently – mainly due to the loss of suitable feeding habitats, mainly meadows and wetlands.
NATURE part of the Barycz Valley
FLORA AND FAUNA of the Barycz Valley – a compendium of knowledge FISH
CARP It is an important fish in the Polish culinary tradition related to the celebration of Christmas. It is not only tasty, but also healthy, it contains nearly 20% of wholesome protein (much more than pork), only 2-3% of fat, and also valuable minerals: phosphorus, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Carp is a fish of Chinese origin, but has been present in European breeding ponds for hundreds of years. Its wild variety – sazan – once lived in rivers. Such specimens were completely covered with scales and their backs were not strongly protruding.
TENCH They are brave, alert, timid and very distrustful fish. It preferably lives in water lilies. The meat is white and medium-fat, and the husks dissolve at 80 degrees to create a tasty, crunchy crust. Lin is also perfect for smoking.
shape and external appearance. Before the white grass carp reached the ponds in Milicz, the Russians became interested in it in the 1930s. But it wasn't until 1961 that they successfully reproduced on an economic scale. It is an ideal fish for anyone who cares about health and a slim figure. Its meat is white, very tender, juicy, firm and much thinner than that of carp. Amur also has fewer bones that easily detach from the meat, and a husk that is not difficult to scrape.
cooking in vegetable bouillon and for stuffing.
CATFISH It is a bottom-dwelling fish, has a flattened head, a flexible, scaly body, small eyes and a mustache. Catfish meat, especially of juveniles, is fatty, dark, tasty and boneless.
SILVER CARP In the waters of the "Stawy Milickie" reserve live silver carp weighing over 10 kg and slightly smaller silver carp. Silver carp are long-lived fish. In Chinese rivers, they grow up to over 40 kg. They belong to the carp family. Their meat is tender and creamy, containing 25% less fat than eel, and three times more unsaturated fatty acids. Silver carp meat should be marinated before frying, then it will be exceptionally tasty.
PIKE PERCH (ZANDER) Zander, next to salmon, Coregonus lavaretus and vendace, is one of the most valuable freshwater fish. It was known as a noble fish by the masters of the saucepan and frying pan. It has very firm, delicate, lean and delicious meat, containing large amounts of protein and minimal amounts of fat, therefore it is considered dietary: its calorific value is low. Zander reach 130 cm in length and can weigh over 15 kg.
GRASS CARP Although it belongs to the carp family, it resembles a torpedo in
Pike is a predator. According to experts, it eats as much during the day as it weighs. Recent studies have shown that pike grow throughout their lives. In our ponds they grow up to approx. 5 kg on average. Their meat is white, firm and tender. Perfect for
CRUCIAN CARP There is no water in which there would be no golden or silver cru-
cians, freely enjoying the free food that is given to carp in the ponds of Milicz. Because, after all, it's also a carp fish. Crucians are the so-called by-catch. In our ponds, you can rarely find individuals over 35 cm long and weighing up to 1.5 kg. Crucian carp can do without air. They can live without oxygen for weeks. Golden crucian carp, also known as common crucian, has very tasty brown flesh, while the meat of silver crucian is dry, bony and not very tasty.
LAKE STURGEON It is one of the oldest fish species in the world today – traces of the presence of sturgeon were found in the late Cretaceous times. The sturgeons can live up to 100 years, up to 2 m in length and weigh over 100 kg. They are predators, they feed on other fish and large invertebrates. It is a fish practically devoid of bones, with delicate, tasty meat, rich in such valuable ingredients as phosphorus and potassium, which have a positive effect on the condition of our bones and teeth, the proper functioning of the nervous system, heart function, blood pressure and kidney function. The meat also contains vitamin A, folic acid and valuable unsaturated fatty acids.
n Other fish of the Barycz Valley Ichthyologists counted and found that 34 species of fish live in the ponds, rivers and streams of the Barycz Valley. In addition to farmed fish, you can also find roach, perch, sunbleak fish, ruffe, stickleback and American (dwarf) catfish, called “bulls”. Less common, not only in the ponds but also outside of them, are: bream, silver bream, common rudd,
gudgeon, perch and burbot. There is also stone loach. In the past, eels were also caught in Barycz, especially near Żmigród.
n Protected fish The clean rivers are inhabited by the Sabanejewia aurata, one of the rarest Polish fish, with an elongated, spotted body and a mustache on the face, and a spined loach is similar to it, though not so rare. The same family also includes a weatherfish, which is able to breathe atmospheric air (which is useful for it when living in muddy waters). The stagnant and slowly flowing waters are inhabited by the Amur bitterling – a fish with an unusual lifestyle, spawning into the shells of a living clam. In rivers, we can also meet the European brook lamprey, belonging to the primitive jawless.
AMPHIBIANS The ponds and rivers of the Barycz Valley are almost a garden of paradise for frogs. Unforgettable and full of unique mystery are the evening concerts of Ranidae, Bufonidae, Bombinatoridae, Hylidae and Pelobatidae – these are the frog families you will meet in the Barycz Valley.
Amphibians only breed in water where they lay eggs known as spawn. They only come ashore after transforming from the form of a tadpole. Amphibians from the frog family are conventionally divided into two groups: brown (MOOR FROG and COMMON FROGS NII-X) and green (MARSH FROG, POOL FROG and EDIBLE FROG NIV-X). Species within groups are difficult to distinguish by appearance, much easier: by mating voices. Only males sing, for marriage purposes. The loudness of the mating song is strengthened thanks to the resonator bags on the sides of the head, which look like balloons when filled with air. A better singer attracts more females and fertilizes more eggs. Among the green frogs – a MARSH FROG, a real giantess, because it can reach up to 17 cm in length. Its name comes from a voice that resembles a mocking human cackle. In March and April, the male brown MARSH FROGS in March and April become intensely blue. This change of color is supposed to charm the partner. The second "pick-up" method is vocal
NATURE part of the Barycz Valley
performance that reminds people of the quiet gurgling of “bigos” dish from under the pot lid. • TREE FROG N(IV-X) in the water can be found only in May and early June. It spends the rest of the summer among the branches of trees and shrubs. During the mating season, the ponds fill up with momentous choirs that give out a bass "rehearsal". In late summer, from tall trees, you can hear individual voices of the frogs, which, according to local residents, predict rain. This voice is one of the showpieces of the Barycz Valley. The tree frog feels confident in height, makes long, agile jumps and lands securely on the leaves, to which it attaches itself with sticky, flat pads at the tips of the fingers. It is usually light green with a black stripe on the sides. But un-
der the influence of emotions or temperature, it can change its colors like a chameleon - from pale blue through green and brown to almost black. • THE FIRE-BELLIED TOAD N(IV-X) is one of the most valuable, endangered amphibians in Europe. In the Barycz Valley, it is still quite common and in many places – puddles, small ponds, reed beds of ponds – we can hear its strange mating voices. Contrary to the name of the species, it is not a humming noise, but rather a hum – monotonous, prolonged and
mesmerizing. Its voice is often used in adventure movies where it builds up the tension of fear and uncertainty. The toads have a gray, warty back. Their appearance helps to disguise themselves in the mud and among the plants. On the other hand, a black belly dotted with red or orange blotches warns enemies: do not eat me – I am poisonous, distasteful. Interesting: the toads' pupils are heart-shaped. • Of the three species of Polish toads in the Barycz Valley, most popular toads are COMMON TOADS N(III-XI), exceptionally up to 20 cm long, with copper-colored eyes, and much smaller GREEN TOADS N(IV-X), with golden-green eyes. The latter have contrasting colors – on an almost white background there is a mosaic of green spots and blood red dots – camo leopard print. There are parotid glands filled with venom on the head. Both species play an important role as slug exterminators. The males sing, filling the resonator in the throat with air, the May-June voice of the green toad is particularly interesting, it resembles a loud troll of a canary. • THE COMMON SPADEFOOT N(III-XI), known in Polish as the “huczek”, lives in quite dry places with sandy soil: dunes, fields, gardens, pine forests. It is active at night, hunting for insects crawling on the ground, earthworms and snails. During the day and a very hot summer, it waits in burrows it has excavated, up to 2 meters long. Like all amphibians, it goes to water reservoirs during breeding. But many features set it apart from amphibian relatives. Mating voices are made by both sexes, from under the water! A muffled knock is then heard. The adult size is up to 8 cm, and her predatory tadpoles are record-big - they can reach even 15-17 cm! • Completely different from their frog-like cousins are the tailed amphibians, somewhat reminiscent of lizards, which are reptiles. Here we meet two species: the NIII-X SMOOTH NEWT (small, 10 cm
long) and the extremely rare NIII-X CRESTED NEWT (more massive, up to 17 cm long). Newts spend the summer on land, in forests and thickets. In spring, during the mating season, they stay in puddles, ditches and ponds. The males then take on a mating look and look like Barycz dragons – the colors intensify, and a web-like crest appears on the back. It is single, from the head to the end of the tail without interruption in the common newt and double – separate on the back and tail in the great crested newt. They are active at night. The night mating of newts is a real mystery – males encourage their partner with an underwater dance, curl up, flex their tail, fan. They assemble a packet of sperm, which the female collects into the cloaca, where it is fertilized. The female lays eggs and wraps them in the leaves of aquatic plants.
of approx. 50 cm. When moving around, he is no worse than his four-legged cousins, twisting the body in a snake-like manner. It is also distinguished by a head without a head, a broadly adherent body, and shield scales on the head and abdomen. It is also, like other lizards, oblate in the back. This completely harmless, friendly reptile that feeds on beetles, larvae, and earthworms and snails, often causes fear. People mistake it for a viper.
REPTILES Not very liked by people, and rather afraid of them, reptiles have very useful functions in the ecosystem. Lizards eat large amounts of insects, vipers – rodents. Three species of lizards live in the Barycz Valley. They can be found in forests, groves, clearings and road conditions. The first, typically forest, VIVIPAROUS LIZARD N(III-X). The name comes from the fact the eggs are hatched in the uterus and they incubate during laying eggs outside the body of the female. The viviparous plant, up to 16 cm long, has a gray-brown color. THE SAND LIZARD species N(III-X), which is very similar to it, is slightly longer, up to 23 cm long, and lays its eggs in an underground burrow. During the mating season, at the time of water intake, the head and front part of the male appear juicy, yellow-green. This lizard is easiest to meet in meadows and non-wooded areas. The trio is completed with a legless lizard, a forest SLOWWORM N(III-X), which can even reach a length
The serpent king of the Barycz Valley is THE GRASS SNAKE N(III-X), an excellent swimmer that hunts for fish and frogs. The name of this steel or, more rarely, brownish-gray snake comes from the contrasting white and yellow spots it has on its head behind its temples. While males are up to 70 cm long, females can be up to 1.5 m. The grass snake can be easily found on the mowed cause of a pond, on a warm concrete ramp by the water, in the water or in the forest. The grass snake is not poisonous! Captured prey is swallowed alive or first strangled, similar to constrictors. The snake itself has to be on its guard – its only weapon against its enemies: birds
NATURE part of the Barycz Valley
of prey, storks and hedgehogs – is to escape. Concerned or caught, it pours foul mucus on the attacker. The dangerous COMMON EUROPEAN ADDER N(III-X), our only venomous species of snake. It has a triangular head (this shape is given by the venom glands behind the eyes), decorated with an X-shaped spot, and the pupils that look menacing and ominous in the form of vertical lines. On the back, from the head to the end of the tail, you can see a black zigzag. It rarely reaches a length of more than 70 cm. The viper is easy to meet on the edge of the forest, basking on sandy roads, piles of wood in the forest, especially in the south-west parts of the Valley, in the vicinity of Sułów, Gruszeczka and in many other places. Its venom paralyzes muscles and kills (as a result of suffocation) small animals – most often rodents. Although the mouse escapes, paralyzed with venom, it suffocates, and the viper unhurriedly finds the victim, reading the scent mark left by it on the ground. The only Central European species of turtle is THE POND TURTLE, III-IX, very rare in Europe. It is black, covered with lemon flecks. It lives in water, and has flattened limbs with floating membranes that act as oars. Pond turtles feed on carrion, aquatic insects, larvae, tadpoles and small fish, supplementing their diet with plants. They reach sexual maturity at the age of ten or twenty, and live up to hundred years. They grow up to 25–30 cm in length. Unfortunately, a rainy and cool summer causes the embryos to die in the eggs. Harsh and snowless winters are particularly dangerous, when turtles hibernating in pits underground are deprived of thermal insulation in the form of a snow duvet. The turtle was still present in the Barycz Valley in the 1950s. Today's population, probably the largest in Lower Silesia, comes from the 1990s reintroduction
program – special turtle egg incubators. You can meet it here taking sunbaths on the shore.
AMPHIBIOUS AND AQUATIC MAMMALS You have to be lucky enough to meet them. Amphibious and aquatic mammals, i.e. those that have secondarily adapted to life in water, are active primarily at night. Their observation is also made more difficult by the fact that they hide in rivers and ponds, because their short legs with swim membranes work much better in water than on land. But it is thanks to the rivers that beavers and otters acquire new territories. • BEAVERS N(I-XII) raise the groundwater level by building dams. They change entire ecosystems, e.g. by flooding meadows, they create new reservoirs, and this often conflicts with the human economy. Therefore, they were exterminated for a long time, being considered as pests. In mid-20th century, these largest rodents in Europe almost died out. Their positions disappeared as a result of water pollution and hunting. They died because of their beautiful fur and beaver fat. In the Barycz Valley, at the end of the 1980s, the action of restoring beavers began. Bred and multiplied in special centers, transferred from other parts of Poland, they adapted perfectly. Today many beaver families live here. They rarely build lodges: the high banks of the Barycz river, embankments and dykes make
the beavers inhabited mainly their burrows, the entrance of which is under the water. You have to be lucky to see a beaver, because it is a skittish and nocturnal animal. However, sitting quietly by a pond or watercourses, often in the evening you can observe them floating just below the water surface. It is much easier to find traces of beaver activity: fallen trees and trunks with tooth marks. • THE OTTER N(I-XII) is a predator and reaches up to 130 cm in length. This clever, intelligent animal can stay under water for up to 8 minutes and swim without ascent and breath even 400 m. Chasing a victim, it reaches a speed of up to 12 km/h, it also hunts under the ice. It eats fish from the head, most often leaving only the tail and bigger bones. Fish farmers do not like it very much, although the otter is usually a selector,
eating sick and weaker individuals that are easier for it to catch. Until 30 years ago, it was a mammal on the verge of extinction. The prohibition of hunting and the strict protection of it meant that today there are more than 130 otters living here and it is relatively easy to meet them, but you need to look out over the water at dusk and at dawn, when it is most active. • Two species of American amphibian mammals, "versions" of beaver and otters by half the size, are quite common in the Barycz Valley: the herbivorous MUSKRAT rodent N(I-XII) and the predatory AMERICAN MINK N(I-XII). They were once brought to Europe to be hunted and for fur purposes. Today, mink causes significant damage to the broods of native water birds by eating eggs, chicks and adult incubating birds. Interestingly, it especially likes to hunt muskrats. • Another characteristic amphibian mammal is THE EUROPEAN WATER VOLE, very numerous in the Valley N(II-XII). This small rodent lives right on the border between water and land. It feeds
on plants, and is itself an important dish on the menu of mustelidae and birds of prey.
RUT In the second half of On September, red deer mate. The rutting season, i.e. the mating season and also the place where bull duels take place, is a true mystery of nature. The agitated males make loud bass voices from dusk to dawn. The bull thus announces its readiness to fight the competition. It also spreads a strong scent of musk, which affects both sexes: encourages doe, and stimulates other bulls to fight. Antlers are a vivid advertisement of the suitors, it is information about their health and the quality of their genes. Every year it grows up anew and is more magnificent.
NATURE part of the Barycz Valley
The antlers that develop for about 6-7 months and are shed only at the end of winter are quite a burden: they make it difficult to navigate in dense thickets, and its costly production can deprive the body of calcium. The older the bull, the more branched the antlers are, reaching even more than 5 kg in weight (sometimes up to 20 kg). In September, the antlers, stripped of the soft and sensitive skin (scrub) that previously covered them, are ready for battle. Females gather in herds, which the bulls "take" and guard against competitors. If such appear, there is a fight. The stronger and more persistent deer wins and starts mating. In May-June of the following year, white-spotted baby deer are born. Deer rutting places take place in secluded mid-forest meadows and in open areas. A perfect place to listen to them are the forested surroundings of the "Ruda Sułowska" complex and the villages of Grabówka and Niezgoda, as well as the northern part of the "Potasznia" complex. The evening listening sessions from the observation towers at the Stary and Grabownica ponds and the horse trail between the Henryk and Grabownica ponds can provide an extraordinary experience.
INVERTEBRATES The world of invertebrates of the Barycz Valley is rich and varied. Many species or whole taxonomic groups are closely related to waters. Underwater stones and branches grow over plant-like colonies of a FRESHWATER SPONGE N(IV-X). The presence of these natural filters shows the absence of chemical pollutants, but also the rich life of plankton (small organisms living in the depths and being the food of fish). Among the numerous snails, the larger ones include the lung-necked GREAT POND SNAIL N(III-XI) with a strongly twisted conical shell, and THE GREAT RAMSHORN N(III-XI) with a flatly twisted shell, and gill-breathing LISTER'S RIVER SNAIL N(III-XI) resembling a land helix pomatia snail. The mussels related to them represent our largest and very rare species – THE SWAN MUSSEL N(III-XI). THE DANUBE CRAYFISH also belongs to crustaceans N(III-XI). It came to Poland several hundred years ago
from the vicinity of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. It is currently under protection. The waters are inhabited in great numbers by various insects belonging to Hemiptera. THE COMMON POND SKATER N(IV-X) slide in swarms on the surface of ponds and rivers, THE NOTONECTA GLAUCA N(III-XI) swim only on their backs, while NEPA CINEREA N(III-XI), sometimes called water scorpions, and mantis-like RANATRA LINEARIS N(III-XI) lurk under the
water. Among the great order of beetles, we can find here the dangerous predator of THE GREAT DIVING BEETLE N(III-XI), growing over 3 cm and able to hunt even a small fish, and GYRINUS N(III-XI), constantly making circles and spirals on the water surface. Some insects live underwater as larvae, but when they reach adulthood, they move to land. This is what DRAGONFLIES do N(IV-X), which include many species with fancy colors and even more elaborate names. These aerial hunters were role models for humans to build a helicopter. Moth-like moths CADDISFLIES N(IV-XI), with wings covered with hair, as larvae build unusual houses of shells, pebbles or plants, in which they hide their sensitive abdomen. Hermit beetle
BEETLES UNDER PROTECTION The old trees of the Barycz Valley have two unique tenants. These are the protected beetles: the great Capricorn and the hermit beetle. Due to the abundance of old oaks in the Barycz Valley, Poland is home to the largest Capricorn beetle population and one of the most numerous hermit beetles. The Capricorn beetle's name comes from antennae, which in the female are up to 5.5 cm long, which is the same as the rest of the body. The male's antennae are even longer. The hermit's name (in Polish “pachnica” – “the scented beetle”) comes from the fact that adult males, basking on the bark of trees on warm sunny days, emit a pleasant, fruity scent. This one reliably attracts females. The larvae of both beetles are associated with old trees, with the difference that young grubs of Capricorn beetle eat live wood and phloem, and hermit grubs eat decayed wood. THE GREAT CAPRICORN N(V-IX) lives on mature oaks. Hermit beetle is less picky, preferring hollow oaks and lindens, and sometimes other species. Although THE HERMIT GRUBS in NVI-VIII feed on wood, they do
NATURE part of the Barycz Valley
not weaken the tree. They eat rotten wood, i.e. wood decomposed by fungi. It is not a medical condition for a tree that the inside of the trunk is decayed. This is the normal course of life for trees, and reaching old age is the only way that more species can inhabit them. Thus, hermit beetle makes the nutrients contained in the decay become food for other organisms, and ultimately for the next generations of trees. If it were not for the hermit beetle and hundreds of insect species, fungi, bacteria, nematodes, etc. associated with it, the forests would be left with dry, dead and undecomposed trees. Therefore, they are an inherent element of nature. Capricorn beetles are best observed when flying on a warm summer evenings, and females walk on the trunks of old oaks, looking for a good place to lay eggs in the folds of the bark. Hermit beetles are best found on warm afternoons in June-July, when males, sitting by the hollows of old oaks and lindens, attract females with their plum-peach scent. However, it is not an insect that is easy to observe, because many
Oaks by the ponds in Krośnice
individuals do not go outside the hollows in which they pupated. Hermit beetle and great Capricorn beetle are protected by national law in the European Union. The former even has the status of the so-called primary species, given to a few animals, such as wolves, bison and bears.
OAKS IN THE BARYCZ VALLEY Along the roads of eight municipalities of the Barycz Valley Landscape Park there are 200 km of tree avenues. They are created by 17 thousand trees, almost a third of which are oaks. These old, branchy trees can be found almost everywhere in the Barycz Valley. They grow not only in alleys along roads and pond dykes, but also in palace parks, villages, pastures and forests. Originally pedunculate oaks appeared in the damp forests of the valley. As the ponds were expanded, they were also planted with oaks.
Oaks on the dike in the Stawy Milickie nature reserve, Stawno complex
From the mid-18th century, when the Silesian part of the Barycz Valley was taken from Austria and incorporated into Prussia, and half a century later, under the Second Partition of Poland, when a part of Greater Poland was included in Prussian borders, planting trees by the roads begun. Most often they were oaks. Their silhouettes recorded and marked the course of the road, the trees also provided comfort to travelers and marching soldiers, and also served as a source of raw material and fuel. In Prussia, the custom of planting trees by roads had existed already since the beginning of the 18th century. They were under royal protection, and their damage was punishable by severe penalties. In addition to repairing the damage and a fine or performing public works, the guilty party had to stand tied to a tree at the scene of the crime with the words "Tree Breacher" on it.
Ancient oaks are of invaluable ecological importance. The lanes of huge trees inhibit the wind, thus reducing the cooling of water and its wave, and thus the erosion of the banks. They also create a microclimate that is friendly to humans and plants, favor the circulation of water in the atmosphere, and provide shelter to birds and other animals. Dikes also stabilize the oaks' roots. Our native oaks grow up to the age of 200-300 years, but there are also over 500-year-old specimens. The most magnificent roadside alleys grow, among others, along the road from Żmigród to Osiek, in the vicinity of Wrocławice and between Police and Żeleźniki. Beautiful alleys and lanes also decorate the ponds, especially in the "Radziądz", "Stawno" and "Krośnice" complexes. The oldest oaks grow in palace parks in Antonin, Milicz, Sułów and Żmigród, and also in forests surrounding these parks. Over two-kilometer-long oak avenue adorns the causeway of the Grabownica pond.
n Do you know that... Oak leaves appear on the reverse of the Iron Cross established in Wrocław in 1813 by the King of Prussia, Frederick William III. The shape of the order was designed by the famous architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, the author of the design of the hunting palace of the Radziwiłł princes in Antonin, which is beautifully set in the famous Antonin oaks. Since 1460, the village of Dębnica (formerly spelled Dembnica), located in the territory of the present Przygodzice municipality, has been known. Its name probably comes from Polish word for tanning – "dębienie". For this process, natural tannins contained in the bark of oak were used. Another Polish word has the same source: "wydębić" – to coax, which originally meant to acquire something means persistently – just as animal skins were treated for a long time until they were successfully tanned.
NATURE part of the Barycz Valley
OBLIGATORY BARYCZ HERBARIUM Everything that is most valuable in the nature of the Barycz Valley is related to water. Although most of the region is covered with forests and fields with meadows, it is worth getting to know the plants growing here from the aquatic environments (ponds, rivers, wet forests and meadows, because these are the most characteristic of the Barycz Valley). It is worth taking a closer look at the local plants during your walks. Here is a selection of the most distinctive and ecologically important ones.
primulaceae family. As the only one from this group, it grows in quiet places with shallow water (up to several dozen cm deep), with a silty or peaty substrate. We can meet it on ponds and oxbow lakes, but it mainly occurs in alder forests, where it forms dense patches.
n At the shore
n On the water
THE NARROW-LEAVED (TYPHA ANGUSTIFOLIA) and BROAD-LEAVED (TYPHA LATIFOLIA) CATTAIL together with the common reeds, form reeds on the banks of ponds, although they do not occupy
belongs to the grasses. It grows up to 4 m high, being the largest herbaceous plant in our country.
It is of great economic importance (house insulation and roofing, biological sewage treatment plants and many others).
such large areas. They can be recognized by their characteristic, butt-shaped inflorescences. All parts of the plant are edible and eagerly used by survivalists. They inhabit waters rich in organic substances. COMMON REED is the main species that forms rushes on the banks of ponds, but also on rivers or on wet meadows. It
THE UPRIGHT SEDGE and ACUTE SEDGES, as well as several other species of sedges, form increasingly rare communities of sedge rushes. They can be found in places with shallow water – on the shores of non-cleaned ponds, but also in marshy meadows and alder forests. They can be distinguished from grasses by their triangular stem. Sedges are an important breeding habitat for many rare birds (charadriiformes, rallidae). THE WATER VIOLET (HOTTONIA PALUSTRIS) belongs to the
FLOATING FERN (SALVINIA NATANS) is a fern found in stagnant
waters. It does not like waves, so it is sometimes treated as an indicator of calm water. Its leaves, up to 1.5 cm long, often form dense, water-based carpets. It floats on the surface of the water. Water birds eagerly eat it. It is fully protected. CALLA grows most preferably in peat bogs, but also in shallow places on the banks of ponds, which are overgrown with dense fields. It is pollinated by snails. Formerly considered a magic plant and as a protection against bites it was added to flour when baking bread. Rare. YELLOW IRIS occurs in wet meadows, rivers and ponds, and in alder forests. It grows in shallow water. It grows up to a meter in height. Commonly known as an iris, it is one of the most popular ornamental plants.
A cluster of yellow water lilies on the channel draining water from the ponds
It is eagerly planted on the edges of garden ponds. THE YELLOW WATER LILY is the most characteristic (apart from the rarer white-flowering water lilies) species of the water lily complex, covering the surface of stagnant or
slowly flowing waters. The petioles of its water leaves can be up to 3 m long. The rhizome (that is, the transformed stem) sunk into the bottom was formerly used as food for pigs. It creates beautiful carpets on the very Barycz river, creating a shelter for many fish. Protected.
n Underwater WATER SOLDIER (WATER PINEAPPLE) is most common in ditches around ponds and on the ponds themselves, in places up to one meter deep. The best conditions for development are in heavily overgrown reservoirs, the bottom of which is covered with
thick organic sediments. Leaves collected in a characteristic rosette resembling aloe vera (hence the Polish name “osoka aloesowata”).
It has quite sharp leaf edges that can hurt your hand. THE HORNWORT belongs to completely underwater plants.
It often forms dense fields at the bottom of ponds, and it readily coexists with water lilies and Nymphaeaceae. It does not form typical roots and is attached to the bottom with transformed leaves. Flowers are pollinated by water (hydrogamy phenomenon).
n Do you know that… The Barycz Valley is the only place in Poland with Crassula aquatica (pygmyweed). It grows at the bottom of ponds from which water is drained periodically.
NATURE part of the Barycz Valley
RECOMMENDED SERVICES and PRODUCTS from the Barycz Valley (more about the system Ø p. 32–33) ACCOMMODATION WEST Part 1. Hotel "Naturum". Stawy Milickie SA | Ruda Sułowska 20, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 71 38 47 110, www.stawymilickie.pl 2. Agritourism farm "Głowaczówka" | Ruda Sułowska 11a, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 693 905 667, www.zajazd-glowaczowka.pl 3. Majątek "Niwa" | Piotrkosice 60, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 697 437 397, www.kajaki-barycz.pl 4. „Ceglany Dom i Stodoła” ("Brick House and Barn") | Koruszka 13, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 697 987 326
EAST Part 13. Hotel "Górecznik" | Wrocławska Street 7, Antonin, (Przygodzice municipality), phone: + 48 62 724 35 61, www.gorecznik.pl 14. Pension "Lido" | Wrocławska Street 6, Antonin, (Przygodzice municipality), phone: + 48 62 734 81 91, www.lido-antonin.pl 15. Guest rooms. Horse Riding Farm "Jurand" | Przygodziczki 64, (Przygodzice municipality), phone: + 48 512 392 243, www.folwarkjurand.pl (candidate for the certificate)
RESTAURANTS Offering regional dishes and using local products (fish, game, fruit, vegetables).
The interior of the guest room in the “Brick House"
CENTRAL part 5. Hotel "Libero" | Kościuszki Street 2, Milicz, phone: + 48 71 383 13 90, www.hotel-libero.pl 6. "Sosenka" recreational house | Stawczyk 14, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 605 418 294, www. sosenka.com.pl 7. "Jaworowy House" | Jawor 12a, (Cieszków municipality), phone: + 48 531 530 021, + 48 577 800 676, www.jaworowydom.pl 8. Recreational houses "Ala" and "Olo" | Średzina, plot number 64, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 605 418 294, www.sosenka.com.pl 9. "W Starym Młynie" Guest House | Niesułowice 25, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 71 38 33 231, www.stary-mlyn.com.pl 10. "Tatarska Zagroda" – accommodation | Parkowa Street 18, Wierzchowice, (Krośnice municipality), phone: + 48 601 091 251, www.moyaameryka.pl 11. Bird Settlement "Joachimówka" | Joachimówka 22, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 501 614 887, www.ptasiaosada.com 12. Campus "Domasławice" | Domasławice 30, (Twardogóra municipality), phone: + 48 730 057 013, www.domaslawice.pl
1. Karczma Rybna "Ruda Żmigrodzka" | Ruda Żmigrodzka 102, (Żmigród municipality), www.ryby.raftowicz.pl 2. Fish Fry "Pod Dębami" | Grabówka 18, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 664 185 724 (candidate for the certificate) 3. "Głowaczówka" Inn | Ruda Sułowska 11a, (Milicz municipality), phone: 00 48 693 905 667, www.zajazd-glowaczowka.pl 4. "8 Fish" inn. Stawy Milickie SA | Ruda Sułowska 20, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 71 38 47 110, www.stawymilickie.pl
The "Master Carp" competition held every year in the Barycz Valley among local gastronomy owners
CENTRAL part 5. "Parkowa" Restaurant | Piłsudskiego Street 2, Milicz, phone: + 48 71 38 41 281, + 48 695 148 765 6. Fama Bistro & Pub | Kościuszki Street 50, Milicz, phone: + 48 71 384 15 15, + 48 669 099 832, www.famaklubmilicz.pl (candidate for the certificate) 7. Restaurant "Teo" | Krotoszyńska Street 7a, Cieszków, phone: + 48 514 779 175 8. Fish fry "U Bartka" | Średzina, (Cieszków municipality), phone: + 48 504 192 870, www.ubartka.pl
9. Restaurant "Hubertówka" | Nowy Zamek 8B, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 71 38 45 425, + 48 501 707 354, www.hubertowka.net 10. „Prosto z pieca“ ("Straight from the oven") cafe | Gądkowice 4, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 71 384 92 27, wwww.piekarniarybka.pl (candidate for the certificate)
EAST part 11. The "Górecznik" inn | Wrocławska Street 7, Antonin, (Przygodzice municipality), phone: + 48 62 724 35 61, www.gorecznik.pl 12. Restaurant "Lido" | Wrocławska Street 6, Antonin, (Przygodzice municipality), phone: + 48 62 734 81 91, www.lido-antonin.pl
8. Apples. Orchard farm 12 – Dziekan | Sadownicza Street 17, Wierzchowice, (Krośnice municipality), phone: + 48 71 38 46 113, + 48 724 737 214, www.sadydziekan.pl 9. Natural fruit juices. Orchard farm – Dziekan | Sadownicza Street 17, Wierzchowice, (Krośnice municipality), phone: + 48 71 38 46 113, + 48 724 737 214, www.sadydziekan.pl 10. Fruit preserves. "From Chaty Łaniaków", Irena and Andrzej Łaniak | Sadownicza Street 23, Wierzchowice, (Krośnice municipality), phone: + 48 71 38 46 330, + 48 691 740 458, www.zchatylaniakow.pl
LOCAL PRODUCTS Look for local products and meet their producers. Sales are carried out at production sites, points of sale, at fairs and open air markets.
WEST Part 1. Pickled vegetables and juices. Farm – M. Sznajder | Karnice 17, (Żmigród municipality), phone: + 48 609 630 221, www.sznajder.agro.pl 2. Handicraft: backpacks. Made of Satisfaction, "Młyn Gospodarczy" | Kościuszki Street 15A, Żmigród, phone: 00 48 724 440 188, www.mos.shoplo.com (candidate for the certificate) 3. Tomatoes. Gardening - Wojciech Skowroński | Parkowa Street 10, Sułów, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 71 38 47 328, + 48 604 247 416, www.ogrodnictwoskowronski.pl
Local product – fruit preserves
CENTRAL part 4. Apples. Orchard farm – Pochodyła | Wojska Polskiego Street 43, Milicz, phone: +48 728 825 528 5. Natural fruit juices. Orchard farm – Pochodyła | Wojska Polskiego Street 43, Milicz, phone: + 48 728 825 528 6. Dolnośląska Bombka (Lower Silesian Bauble) Creative Multifunctional Object | J. Dąbrowskiego Street 3, Milicz, phone: + 48 71 38 41 296, www.kom.edu.pl 7. Preparations of grains and nuts – oils, flours, mousses. "Oleowita" | Wojska Polskiego Street 54, Milicz, phone: + 48 697 119 301, www.olejemilo.pl
Local product – fruit preserves
11. Fruit preserves. Orchard farm – Elwira Gracz | Sanatoryjna Street 7, Krośnice, phone: + 48 71 38 33 932, + 48 607 556 158 12. Grape and fruit cider wine. "Anna" vineyard, Przerwa Dariusz | Ogrodowa Street 9, Krośnice, phone: + 48 607 428 315, www.winnica-anna.pl 13. Traditional smoked meats. Meat Processing Plant, Grzegorz Jankowski | Szkolna Street 36, Krośnice, phone: + 48 71 38 46 122 14. Hand-sewn tourist souvenirs. Tailoring services "Igiełka" | Kolejowa Street, Krośnice, phone: + 48 691 732 327, www.igielka.net.pl 15. "Komyśniak" bread. "Rybka" Bakery | Gądkowice 4, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 71 38 49 227 16. 100% rye bread. "Familijna" Bakery | Kuźnica Czeszycka 11, (Krośnice municipality), phone: + 48 71 38 45 613, www.familijna.pl 17. Oils of the Valley. Magdalena Dwornikowska | Moszyce 19F, (Twardogóra municipality), phone: + 48 601 564 899, www.olejezdoliny.pl
EAST Part 18. Honey and bee products. Beekeeping farm "Gucio" | ul. Kościelna 28, Sośnie, phone: + 48 691 666 053, + 48 697 837 497, www.guciomiodek.pl 19. Traditional dried plant decorations. "Perennials and Susz" – Agnieszka and Jarosław Lesiak | Gimnazjalna Street 10A / 10, Odolanów, phone: + 48 698 249 964, www.bylinyisusz.pl 20. Artistic ceramics. Elements Studio Ceramika | Gorzyce Małe 26a, (municipality of Odolanów), phone: + 48 509 122 669 21. Baryczok" bread. "GS Przygodzice" bakery | Szkolna Street 7, Przygodzice, phone: + 48 62 592 78 80, www.gsprawyodzice.ipolska.info
NATURE part of the Barycz Valley
SALE OF CARP and other freshwater fish WEST Part 1. The fishing farm "Ruda Żmigrodzka" | Ruda Żmigrodzka, (Żmigród municipality), phone: +48 601 733 559, www.ryby.raftowicz.pl 2. Stawy Milickie SA | Ruda Sułowska 20, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 71 38 47 110, www.stawymilickie.pl
CENTRAL part 3. The fishing farm "Milicz" | Milicz, phone: + 48 71 38 40 464, www.grmilicz.pl 4. "Stawczyk" fishing farm | Stawczyk 36, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 601 178 827, www.milickiestawy.pl
Recreation in canoes on the Barycz River
6. Recreation Center "Sosenka" – canoe rental | Stawczyk 14, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 605 418 294, www.sosenka.com.pl 7. Comprehensive Tourist Services in the Barycz Valley. Maciej Kowalski – learning and horse riding, canoe and bicycle rental, field guide, birdwatching | Niesułowice 2, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 665 145 094, www.baryczturystyka.pl 8. Fishing ground. Jerzy Kabaciński | Drogoszowice, (Twardogóra municipality), phone: + 48 697 316 635
Carp catch in the Barycz Valley
EAST Part 5. "Możdżanów" fishing farm | Możdżanów, (municipality of Sośnie), phone: + 48 601 781 053, www.rybymozdzanow.pl
RECREATION Spend your free time actively and creatively in the Barycz Valley and gather memories.
9. Horse Riding Farm "Jurand" – learning and horse riding | Przygodziczki 64, (Przygodzice municipality), phone: + 48 512 392 243, www.folwarkjurand.pl
EDUCATIONAL WEST Part 1. Educational and Tourist Center "Naturum". Stawy Milickie SA | Ruda Sułowska 20, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 71 38 47 110, www.stawymilickie.pl 2. Włodzimierz Ranoszek – educational offer | Szkolna Street, Sułów, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 605 619 956, www.wranoszek.pl
WEST Part 1. Palace and Park Complex in Żmigród – recreational offer, rental of tourist equipment | Parkowa Street, Żmigród, phone: + 48 71 38 53 931, www.it-zmigrod.pl 2. Comprehensive Tourist Services. Beata Głowacz – tourist equipment rental | Ruda Sułowska 11a, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 603 976 169, www.zajazd-glowaczowka.pl 3. Włodzimierz Ranoszek – field guide | Szkolna Street 6/1, Sułów, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 605 619 956, www.wranoszek.pl
CENTRAL part 4. The fishing ground in Kaszów | Kaszowo 47, (Milicz municipality), phone: + 48 601 727 892 5. Canoe rental "Emirej" | Krucza Street 12, Milicz, phone: + 48 660 299 775, www.emirej.pl
A guided walk along one of the nature paths
CENTRAL part 3. Creative Multifunctional Object – educational workshops | Dąbrowskiego Street 3, Milicz, phone: + 48 71 38 41 296, www.kom.edu.pl
<Tourist Information Point in Przygodzice in the Municipality Cultural Center, Wrocławska Street 52, phone: + 48 62 59 27 011, www.gokprawyodzice.pl | open: Mon-Fri 7.00 a.m.– 3.00 p.m., at weekends by prior arrangement.
Educational activities showing the specificity of the area
4. Ecological Education Center | Sanatoryjna Street 19, Krośnice, phone: + 48 71 38 46 040, www.krosnice.pl
EAST Part 5. Family Park of Adventure and Education "Górecznik" | Wrocławska Street 7, Antonin, (Przygodzice municipality), phone: + 48 62 724 35 61, www.gorecznik.pl 6. Horse Riding Farm "Jurand" – educational offer "We're coming out of the benches" | Przygodziczki 64, (Przygodzice municipality), phone: + 48 512 392 243, www.folwarkjurand.pl.
CULTURAL offer 1. Museum of the Baubles, Creative Multifunctional Object | J. Dąbrowskiego Street 3, Milicz, phone: + 48 71 38 41 296, www.kom.edu.pl 2. Dances and rituals of folk groups, Communal Cultural Center in Przygodzice | Wrocławska Street 52, Przygodzice, phone: + 48 62 592 70 11, www.gokprawyodzice.pl
IMPORTANT ADDRESSES TOURIST INFORMATION <Tourist Information "Baszta" in the Palace and Park Complex in Żmigród, Parkowa Street, phone: + 48 71 38 53 931, www.it-zmigrod.pl | open: April-October: Mon-Fri 7.00 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sat-Sun 11.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m., November-March: Mon-Fri 7.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m. <Tourist Information in Milicz, Szewska Street 1B, phone: + 48 515 276 315, e-mail: turystyka@milicz. pl; https://www.facebook.com/informacjaturystycznamilicz/ | open: May-September: Mon-Fri 8.00 a.m. – 4.00 p. m., Sat - Sun 9.00 a. m. – 5.00 p. m., October-April: Mon-Fri 8.00 a. m. – 6.00 p. m. <Info KOM Point in Milicz, J. Dąbrowskiego Street 3, phone: + 48 71 384 12 96, www.kom.edu.pl | open: May-September: Mon-Fri 9.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m., Sat-Sun 10.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m., October-December: Mon-Fri 9.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m., Sun 10.00 a.m. – 6 p.m. <Tourist Information Center in Krośnice, September: Mon, Thurs, Fri 8.00 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sat-Sun 10.00 a.m. – 6 p.m.; IT point is closed off-season.
< Comprehensive Tourist Services in the Barycz Valley. Maciej Kowalski | phone: + 48 665 145 094, www.baryczturystyka.pl < Włodzimierz Ranoszek – outdoor guide | phone: + 48 605 619 956, www.wranoszek.pl < CET "Naturum" guide service, Stawy Milickie SA | phone: + 48 71 38 47 110, www.stawymilickie.pl < Hanna Jankowska – outdoor guide, phone: + 48 697 437 397, www.kajaki-barycz.pl < Robert Kaczmarek – outdoor guide, photographer, naturalist, tourist, phone: + 48 509 178 258 < Zofia Pietryka – local guide and nature educator, phone: + 48 606 316 128 < Aleksandra Wasińska – orniotologist, guide, phone: + 48 691 917 887 < Jakub Wencek Obrazy Lasu – forest photo and nature walks | phone: + 48 664 921 952; www.obrazylasu.pl/lesne-spacery/
IMPORTANT WEBSITES www.dolinabaryczy.travel www.dbpoleca.barycz.pl www.kolorowyszlakkarpia.barycz.pl www.dnikarpia.barycz.pl | www.edukacja.barycz.pl www.nasza.barycz.pl
Barycz Valley – close to nature! DB Tourist APP Download the TOURIST APP – mobile guide and loyalty card in one! more on: dolinabaryczy.travel
municipalities’ websites: Żmigród municipality Ø www.zmigrod.com.pl Cieszków municipality Ø cieszkow.pl Milicz municipality Ø milicz.pl Krośnice municipality Ø www.krosnice.pl Twardogóra municipality Ø www.twardogora.pl Sośnie municipality Ø www.sosnie.pl Odolanów municipality Ø www.odolanow.pl Przygodzice municipality Ø www.przygodzice.pl
ABC of the Barycz Valley
AUTHORS AND SOURCES OF THE PHOTOS USED IN THE GUIDE The Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley” would like to thank you for your favor in sharing photos. The list of photos provided refers to specific pages (page numbers are in bold), the photo sources are listed in the order from the top from the left on the page. p. 1 – Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”; p. 6 – Ł. Kiełtyka, A. Kurzdym, R. Kaczmarek, Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”; p. 7 – Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”, R. Kaczmarek, Ł. Kiełtyka; p. 8 – Lila Dmochowska (www. dokumentyslaska.pl), W. Ranoszek; p. 9 – pl.wikipedia.org, public domain (other photos); p. 10 – Żmigród Commune, pl.wikipedia.org, pl.wikipedia.org, the National Library of Warsaw, pl.wikipedia.org, pl.wikipedia.org; p. 11 – Museum of the City of Ostrów Wielkopolski, www.wbc.poznan.pl, National Digital Archives, www. hausschlesien.de; p. 12 – public domain (all photos); p. 13 – Żmigród Commune, public domain, University Library in Wrocław; p. 14 – “Illustrierte Wochenbeilage der Schlesischen Zeitung” 1934, University Library in Wrocław, M. Wójcik; p. 15 – “Stawy Milickie”, Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”, “Stawy Milickie”, p. 18 – Krośnice Commune, Krośnice Commune, C. Tajer; p. 19 – A. Kolańczyk; p. 20 – Krośnice Commune; p. 21 – Milicz Commune, Krośnice Commune, Milicz Commune; p. 22 – Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley” (all photos); p. 23 – Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley” (all photos); p. 24 – S. Wiącek; p. 25 – Hajstra Rally (all photos); p. 26 – fotopolska.eu, en. wikipedia.org; p. 27 – the Milicz Commune, I. Demianiuk-Ozga; p. 28 – polska-org.pl (all photos); p. 29 – www.polska-org.pl, Odolanów Commune, polska-org.pl, Sośnie Commune; p. 32 – “Anna” vineyard; p. 33 – “Chata Łaniaków”, Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”; p. 34 – T. Wojciechowski (“Górecznik”), Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley” (other photos); p. 35 – Creative Multifunction Object, Twardogóra Commune, Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley” (other photos); p. 38 – Żmigród Commune, Żmigród Commune, A. Urbańczyk, “Stawy Milickie”; p. 39 – “Stawy Milickie”, the commune of Milicz, “Stawy Milickie”, the commune of Milicz; p. 40 - P. Jagodziński, Żmigród Commune, www. polska-org.pl, Żmigród Commune, Żmigród Commune; p. 41 – Żmigród Commune, www.barycz.pl, “Stawy Milickie” – M. Jankowiak, C. Tajer, Żmigród Commune, “Stawy Milickie” – P. Kucharski, pl.m.wikipedia.org; p. 44 – Żmigród Commune, Żmigród Commune; p. 45 – www.polska-org.pl, www.polska-org.pl; p. 46 – Żmigród Commune, P. Jagodziński; p. 47 – C. Tajer; p. 48 – the Żmigród Commune; p. 49 – The “Ruda Żmigrodzka” fishing farm; p. 50 – “Stawy Milickie” - P. Kucharski; p. 51 – A. Mastalerz, Milicz Commune; p. 52 – “Stawy Milickie” – P. Kucharski, Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”, A. Urbańczyk; p. 53 – L. Matacz, www.polska-org.pl, Milicz Commune; p. 54 – the Milicz commune, C. Tajer; pp. 56-57 “Stawy Milickie”; p. 58 – A. Urbańczyk; p. 59 – I. Demianiuk-Ozga; p. 61 – W. Ranoszek, Farm – Michał Sznajder; p. 62 – “Stawy Milickie”, Żmigród Commune; p. 63 – Żmigród Commune, Żmigród Commune, “Ruda Żmigrodzka” Fish Farm; p. 66 – “Lower Silesian Bicycle Land”; p. 67 – “Lower Silesian Bicycle Land”; p. 68 – Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”; p. 71 – C. Tajer; p. 72 – Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”; p. 73 – Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”, A. Kurzdym; p. 75 – The 'Ruda Żmigrodzka' fishing farm; p. 78 – Cieszków Commune, www.szlakikulturowe.dolnyslask.pl, the Commune of Milicz, the Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”; p. 79 – Milicz Commune, Creative Multifunctional Facility, Milicz Commune, A. Florczyk; p. 80 – Milicz Commune, Krośnice Commune, Krośnice Commune; p. 81 – Krośnice Commune, Twardogóra Commune, Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”; pp. 82–83 – Cieszków Commune (all photos); p. 85 – www. parafia. cieszkow.pl, p. 86 – Milicz Commune, Milicz Commune, Milicz Commune, A. Biernat, Ostoja in Milicz, Creative Multifunctional Facility, Milicz Commune, Milicz Commune; p. 87 – Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”, Milicz Commune, Milicz Commune, Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley", Ł. Kiełtyka, Milicz Commune, Milicz Forest Inspectorate; p. 89 – Milicz Commune, M. Skiba; p. 90 – Milicz Commune; p. 91 – Milicz Commune (all photos); pp. 92–93 – Creative Multifunctional Object (all photos); p. 94 – Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”, Milicz Commune; p. 96 – Nadleśnictwo Milicz, Association “Partnership for the Barycz
Valley”; p. 97 – Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”; p. 98 – Krośnice Commune, www. polska-org.pl, Krośnice Commune; p. 99 – C. Tajer, Krośnice Commune, Krośnice Commune, Krośnice Commune; p. 100 – Krośnice Commune; p. 101 – Krośnice Commune; pp. 102–103 – Krośnice Commune (all photos); p. 104 – Krośnice Commune, pl.wikipedia.org; p. 105 – Krośnice Commune; p. 106 – Twardogóra (all photos); p. 107 – Twardogóra Commune, Twardogóra Commune, Twardogóra Commune, Twardogóra Commune, www.wroclaw. pl, Twardogóra Commune; s. 108 – www. olesnica.nienaltowski.net from the Digital Library of the University of Wrocław; p. 109 – Twardogóra Commune; www.wroclaw.pl; pp. 110–111 – Twardogóra Commune (all photos); p. 112 – Twardogóra Commune (all photos); p. 113 – Twardogóra Commune, www. wroclaw.pl; p. 114 – Milicz Forest District; p. 115 – Krośnice Commune (all photos); p. 116 – Milicz Commune (all photos); p. 117 – Krośnice Commune, Twardogóra Commune, Krośnice Commune; p. 118 – Twardogóra Commune, Milicz Commune; p. 119 – Twardogóra Commune, Campus “Domasławice”, Milicz Commune; p. 122 – “Dolnośląska Kraina Rowerowa”, the Commune of Twardogóra; p. 123 – Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”; p. 126 – Krośnice Commune; p. 127 – the Twardogóra Commune; p. 128 – Z. Pietryk; p. 129 – C. Tajer, Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”; p. 130 – B. Dec, L. Matacz; p. 131 – A. Urbańczyk, A. Urbańczyk, www.barycz. pl; p. 132 – A. Urbańczyk, L. Matacz; p. 133 – the Krośnice Commune, P. Gorzelak; p. 134 – Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”; p. 135 – Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”; p. 136 – “Stawy Milickie”; p. 140 – Sośnie Commune, Odolanów Commune, Odolanów Commune; p. 141 – R. Kaczmarek, “Górecznik” (T. Wojciechowski), R. Kaczmarek; p. 142 – Sośnie Commune; p. 143 – R. Kaczmarek, Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”, Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”, Sośnie Commune; p. 144 – Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”; p. 145 – Sośnie Commune; p. 146 – pl.m.wikipedia. org; p. 147 – Sośnie Commune; p. 148 – R. Kaczmarek, Odolanów Commune (other photos); p. 149 – R. Kaczmarek, Odolanów Commune (other photos); p. 151 – the Odolanów Commune; p. 152 – the Odolanów Commune; p. 153 – R. Kaczmarek; p. 154 – R. Kaczmarek (all photos); p. 155 – R. Kaczmarek, “Górecznik” (T. Wojciechowski); Ł. Kiełtyka, R. Kaczmarek, Przygodzice Commune; p. 156 – R. Kaczmarek; p. 157 – Ł. Kiełtyka; p. 158 – R. Kaczmarek (all photos); p. 159 – Palace in Antonin; p. 160 – R. Kaczmarek; p. 161 – Antonin Forest District; p. 163 – Equestrian farm “Jurand”; pp. 164–165 – “Górecznik”; p. 166 – Sośnie Commune, R. Kaczmarek, Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”; p. 167 – R. Kaczmarek, M. Wojtasik, “Górecznik”; p. 169 – R. Kaczmarek; p. 171 – R. Kaczmarek (all photos); p. 173 – R. Kaczmarek (all photos); p. 174 – Equestrian farm “Jurand”; p. 175 – Equestrian farm “Jurand”; p. 178 - A. Kolańczyk, P. Śnigucki, wikipedia.org, A. Kolańczyk, P. Śnigucki, Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”; p. 179 – A. Kolańczyk, C. Tajer, P. Śnigucki, W. Lewandowski, P. Śnigucki, P. Śnigucki; p. 180 – “Partnership for the Barycz Valley” Association (all photos); p. 181 – the Żmigród Commune; p. 182 – A. Wasińska; p. 183 – Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley”, P. Śnigucki; p. 184 – P. Śnigucki, P. Śnigucki, A. Kolańczyk (other photos); p. 185 – A. Kolańczyk, A. Kolańczyk, P. Śnigucki, P. Śnigucki; p. 186 – P. Śnigucki, A. Kolańczyk (other photos); p. 187 – P. Śnigucki, A. Kolańczyk; p. 188 – P. Śnigucki, A. Kolańczyk; p. 189 – P. Śnigucki, A. Wasińska, P. Śnigucki; p. 190 – A. Kolańczyk, A. Wasińska; p. 191 – A. Kolańczyk; p. 192 – A. Kolańczyk, P. Śnigucki; p. 193 – R. Kaczmarek, P. Śnigucki; p. 195 – C. Tajer; p. 196 – M. Osińska, pl.wikipedia.org; p. 197 – pl.wikipedia.org, C. Tajer; p. 198 – www.infowire.pl; p. 199 – pl. wikipedia.org, P. Śnigucki; p. 200 – pl.wikipedia.org; p. 201 – C. Tajer (all photos); p. 202 – Krośnice Commune; p. 203 – P. Śnigucki; p. 205 – C. Tajer; pp. 206–207 – Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley” (all photos); pp. 208–209 – Association “Partnership for the Barycz Valley” (all photos), cover photo – Ł. Kiełtyka. The Association “PARTNERSHIP for the Barycz Valley” would like to give special thanks for their kindness, sharing photos and valuable tips, without which the guide would not be able to show the beauty of the Barycz Valley, to: Aleksandra Wasińska, Robert Kaczmarek, Piotr Śnigucki, Cezary Tajer, Edmund Radziszewski, Włodzimierz Ranoszek. The photos of the Association “PARTNERSHIP for the Barycz Valley” come from commissioned photos of various authors, including photos from the open air 2015 of the afa Wrocław School of Photography. The nature part was edited on the basis of the “Guide to the extraordinary nature of nature”; we would like to thank the Eco-Development Foundation for sharing it.