The administration of the protected landscape area of Pálava and the Czech Association of Nature Protectors ONYX are looking for volunteers for this year’s harvest. It is an event in which, under the supervision of nature conservation experts, borates, from which indigo was once obtained, are manually plucked on the slopes of Děvín. According to ecologists, the plant significantly harms Pálava because it displaces valuable steppe flora.
Borite was used in the dyeing of fabrics, a blue dye was obtained from it, the so-called false indigo. In Pálava, however, it caught fire and began to spread uncontrollably, especially on the southeast-oriented, forestless, steep slopes of Děvín, where it displaces, for example, Ethiopian sage, Pálava’s jewel the sand iris, or the decorative continental kavyla grass. Almost nothing of rare and endangered species grows on areas dominated by borite.
“The amount of flowering plants on the slopes of Děvín is gradually decreasing, and compared to 2015, when we started uprooting borite, it has significantly decreased,” said Jiří Kmet, director of the Pálava protected area administration. Getting rid of borite is not easy, you have to pull out one plant at a time. It is important to pluck the borate during flowering so that it does not have time to seed, because the seeds are able to germinate even after several years. The event must therefore be repeated annually.
There will be no public scavenger hunt this year, according to the organizers, it is an organizationally demanding event. With larger groups, the organizers will agree on individual dates, individuals can then join. Just like last year, Břeclav prisoners, scout groups, high schools, private companies and, now, also paragliders, who have a launch pad there, will help.
The main period for the disposal of borite is in the first decade of May, but it will depend mainly on the weather. Contacts can be found on the website, the contact person is Ivana Mariánková. According to Pechousek, by agreement, volunteers can be provided with transport, a snack and after work an excursion with an explanation of local natural attractions.
You can view the gems of this unique protected landscape area in the gallery at the top of the article.
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