Planting a memorial tree to thank King Charles III for his long-standing support of environmental protection. This was the aim of the event, which took place in the Ulmanka locality of Velký Kosíř. Here, a “Private arboretum with a training centre” is currently being developed on about 1.5 hectares. This is the result of the efforts of the Křepelka family, whose enthusiasm for landscape care is admirable. In the new arboretum, people will find not only a number of native trees and a meadow but also an anti-erosion wall or a polder.
The aim of the meeting at Kosíř was originally only to demonstrate the planting of trees in the open landscape with the need to prevent drying out and erosion, to take care of them properly, and to see what the Liechtenstein family left us from the pre-Bohemian era, i.e. dry walls and a small polder. “When Prince Charles, a great lifelong supporter of environmental protection and the care of landscapes and monuments, became King Charles III, we carried out a model planting of a memorial tree. The text and the picture were supplied by the British Embassy, and the planting of the 4.5-metre-high tree was taken care of by the former director of the Bílá Lhota Arboretum, Stanislav Hekele, with the participation of a number of other allied people with an interest in ecology,” Helena Křepelková, chairwoman of the Expert Centre for the Environment of the Czech Society for Quality and organiser of the event, told us.
Together with her husband, she is the owner of almost 1.5 ha of land on the southern slope of Kosíř in the Ulmanka locality. “My grandparents bought a plot of land there 100 years ago, and 30 years ago we gradually bought the adjacent neglected plots, sometimes devastated by black dumps. We are gradually eliminating the acacia infestation and returning the old varieties there, maintaining the flowering meadows, which are actually the remnants of the steppes after the last ice age, trying to maintain the conditions for many animals and plants,” Helena Křepelková outlined.
About half of the land has already been reclaimed, and on the rest, which the family acquired two years ago, they are disposing of a huge black dump. “We are preparing a complex project of access paths and reconstruction of the crumbling original house of the Konečná family, which was built in a very ecological way at the turn of the 20th and 30th century. This will become a small training centre with an exhibition of found original objects. The reconstruction of the house will take approximately 2 years; everything must be done with respect to the fauna and flora,” outlined Křepelková.
If you are interested in the project of ecological enthusiasts, you will soon be able to get to know it in more detail. “Starting next spring, we would like to announce open days with guided tours – once a month for now, more often during the holidays. Ulmanka is right on the yellow trail that leads along the Hraběnka (Countess) path,” concludes Helena Křepelková.