Strzelce Landscape Park
The park protects the complex of Forests of Strzelce, together with a part of Bug valley.
The landscape is relatively flat – only the southern part of the protective buffer zone is more diverse, where the differences in terms of height between the hills amount to several dozens of meters. The terrain was shaped mainly by the process of aggradation – caused by lakes, glaciers and combination of river and glacier activity. For that matter, in the landscape of the area one can mainly find plains which were not transformed by denudation, shattered by shallow and indistinct river valleys. The most visible form of terrain is extensive Bug valley – its widest point is located in the northern part of the Park. The river creates numerous bends and oxbow lakes (in Polish also called “bużyska”). In the valley, there are mainly half-natural damp meadows and occasionally – remains of riparian forests. In the Park, there are also two smaller rivers – Wełnianka near western border of the Park and Ubrodownica, which crosses the upper part of the main forest.
The most precious parts of Strzelce Landscape Park are nature reserves “Siedliszcze” and “Liski”, which are additionally protected due to their high environmental value. “Liski” reserve was founded to preserve natural stands of oaks and pine-oak combination. It is a unique mosaic of oak-hornbeam forests, coniferous forest and oak forests. Some of the oaks and pines are tall enough to be considered as natural monuments. In the reserve one can find so called “matczanska pine”, which can only be found there. The groundcover is a habitat for numerous protected species, such as broad-leaved helleborine (Epipactis helleborine), bird’s-nest orchid (Neottia nidus-avis), martagon lily (Lilium martagon), lesser periwinkle (Vinca minor). Bird, which is typical for the reserve, is collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis). In the south-eastern part of the reserve, there is also a breeding stand for black stork (Ciconia nigra), which is under zone protection.
In the northern part of Strzelce Landscape Park, there is a small reserve “Siedliszcze”, located at the border of Strzelce Forests – very close to Wełnianka valley. It was established to protect breeding sites for lesser spotted eagle (Clanga pomarina), as well as parts of over 120-year-old natural oak-hornbeam forest, with partially occuring alder-ash forests and alder carrs. When it comes to plants under strict protection, in “Siedliszcze” reserve one may find: martagon lily (Lilium martagon), white helleborine (Cephalanthera damasonium) and common hepatica (Anemone hepatica).
There are three natural monuments in the park. Two maple trees (Acer platanoides) and common ash (Fraxinus excelsior) in Skryhiczyn. Many monumental trees can be found in historic parks, located near the Strzelce Landscape Park or in the buffer zone. The best preserved ones are the parks in Strzelce, Kopyłowo and Stefankowice.
Two trails marked by Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society cross Strzelce Landscape Park: the red one, so-called “Nadbużański”, which goes along the Bug valley through Horodło – Matcze – Starosiele – Dubienka and the blue one – Tadeusz Kościuszko’s trail, mainly going through the forest via Dubienka – Starosiele – Maziarnia Strzelecka – Raciborowice. Apart from the main trails, there are also educational trails, which can be considered a valuable addition to the main ones. Trail “Bug’s oxbow lake” starts in Starosiele and continues along the Bug valley, via meads, numerous oxbow lakes and Bug’s stream bed. Another trail, “Forests of Strzelce”, starts in the very heart of Strzelce’s forests – Maziarnia Strzelecka.
Places with the highest touristic significance are Starosielce – village located by an old stream bed of Bug with bathing lake by the oxbow lake and Dubienka, where tourists can see many monuments.