The Łężczok Nature Reserve
Located between Racibórz, Nędza, Zawada Książęcsa and Babice, being part of the area of the Cysterskie Kompozycje Krajobrazowe Rud Wielkich Landscape Park, the Łężczok Nature Reserve is one of the largest and most beautiful reserves of the entire Silesian region, and at the same time an unusual icon of thev Land of the Upper Odra. What makes this place incredibly special is the fact, that here you can meet almost half of all the species of birds living in Poland! The reason why so many birds are eager to settle down in this charming part of our country is a place called Brama Morawska, which is an incredibly crucial ecological corridor flowing through the Land of the Upper Odra. In this corridor – thanks to the local reduction between Sudety and Karpaty – various species from the world of fauna and flora are migrating.
Meanwhile, the name „Łężczok” itself, being a linguistic terror for any foreigner, originated from wet riparian forests growing around the reserve, which are very precious for the ecosystem. But perhaps the most interesting thing is the fact that such wonderful conditions for birds are not entirely just the work of mother nature, because these conditions were made by human, and more specifically by the Cistercians, who, probably in the 13th century, ceated breeding ponds at the area of today’s Łężczok, with the use of the basin of the Odra river. It was an incredibly active and enterprising order, thanks to which birds that come here today can enjoy the presence of 8 ponds: Tatusiak, Markowiak, Salm Duży and Salm Mały, Ligotniak, Brzeziniak, Babiczak and Grabowiec.
Cormorants, terns, black-headed seagulls and families of swans can be easily observed in th silent break between the birds’ noises. A marvelous experience! In Łężczok you cna encounter wonderful types of trees, because 64% of them are individuals that are more than 100 years old Is that little? Among them you can also fid oak trees that are more than 400 years old! Łężczok was the place where the Red Trail by the name of Polish Hussars runs, commemorating the march of the Polish army, who were going with the troops to Vienna. So it is highly possible, that these oaks werewpassed, and even planted, by none other than king Jan III Sobieski himself.
This is a perfect place to take a walk or ride a bike through the local cycling trail.
The Łężczok Nature Reserve – practical information
Arriving and parking
It’s best not to park your car at the parking marked on Google Maps, but rather ride several hundred meter further, where you can find a new parking with a handful of sheds where you can relax and several information boards telling about the wonders of Łężczok.
Getting here by public transport might be a bit difficult, but if you can take a bicycle to the train, then go ahead get off on station Racibórz Markowice, or station Nędza, from where it takes 15 minutes cycling to get to Łężczok.
How to experience the Łężczok Nature Reserve in the Land fo the Upper Odra?
In Łężczok you can find one cycling trail and 6 walking paths. Remember, that taking any pets to the reserve is strictly forbidden. You should also pay attention for information boards mentioning parts of the trails that are excluded from the possibility of visiting. There are also marked tourist trails running through Łężczok:
The already mentioned Red Tourist Trail by the name of Polish Hussars, running through the major part of the Cistercian Landscape Park.
Route: Będzin – Bytom – Tarnowskie Góry – Gliwice Rudy – Łężczok – Racibórz –
Pietrowice Wielkie – Krzanowice
The Yellow Tourist Trail by the name of Polish Minority Schools
Route: Chałupki – Tworków – Racibórz – Markowice – Łężczok – Łęg – Kuźnia Raciborska – Bierawa
The cycling route through the blue trail of Eichendorff’s Youth
Łubowice – Ciechowice (with a ride on a ferry) – Łężczok Nature Reserve – Markowice –The Obora Forest – Kobyla – Kornowac – Pogrzebień – The Widok Forest in Brzezie (The Eichendorff Monument is located nearby)
IMPORTANT – Do not feed the birds with bread!
When we were in Łężczok, there was one thing that made us sad: we noticed a huge amount of floating bread by observation points, that was fed to birds. Absolutely do not feed local birds, or any other birds, with bread! This seemingly innocent behavior, which is a result of human care, leads to many illnesses and the death of animals, causing, among others, the so-called angel wing -a deformation of joints in the wings. A bird with an angel wing will no longer be able to fly. Other diseases? Acidosis, food poisonings, and finally, the disfunctioning o the natural instincts forcing birds to migrate, whic is a normal thing to do for them. The eight ponds of Łężczok, which are full of food, are sure to fulfill the needs of all these wonderful creatures without additional human „help”. Let’s make sure that these cute sight last for as long as possible, and our visits don’t harm local animals living here.