Refugium | News

How We Dredged Pools in the White Carpathians

The Task Was Clear—Sensitively Fix the Clogged Historical Well, Part of the Limestone Spring in Our Location in the White Carpathians.

In was high time; in spring, our colleague Filip will be going round to the White Carpathian meadows and other spots to inspect what’s growing there, while Prokop will be looking for and monitoring the presence of amphibians. We don’t want to disturb them with senseless interventions this early in the spring.

And so one cloudy day in the beginning of March, we traveled to the site and got to work.

The well we observed had practically disappeared under the flow of dirt from the slopes. What remained was only a few stacked stones, sediment, and plastic pipes that once held the spring.

All that was necessary was a few hours of work to clean up the well, slightly deepen it, and make a new stone wall as well as a low dam with a trough for a moderate outflow of water.

Our next steps led us under the well, where there is a relatively steep forested slope with a flat waterlogged terrain. Like the well, it’s part of a limestone spring. In several places, we observed some fallen limestone rocks.

Below, we dug two smaller pools in the overgrown, waterlogged part of the slope.

Our final stop was a little lower by the stream at the bottom of the slope. Here, we created the last pool, a flowing one that is an ideal habitat for the fire salamander. This was the simplest of our tasks. All we needed to do was reinforce the already existing partial dam.

We have tried to approach our work on this day as sensitively as possible, and we believe that with these small adjustments we’ve managed to expand the range of habitats in order to increase the local biodiversity for many years to come.

Now, we need to keep our fingers crossed and hope that wild pigs won’t destroy all of our hard work.

Here are some pictures from our March expedition:
The wavy terrain of the White Carpathians.
And so it begins.
An hour later, digging continues. Backs start to ache.
Diggers stop to confer. They’re discussing how to build the wall.
The final result!
Detail of the small dam that our colleague Eliška was dutifully stomping on (when she wasn’t taking pictures).
The final result from the other side with the majestic stone wall of the well in full view.
Satisfied diggers.
The first of the pair of small pools below the well.
The second of the pair of small pools below the well.
The simplest project—a flowing pool, part of the stream at the bottom of the slope with the limestone spring.
The flowing salamander pool again. We simply added some rocks to support the dam.
A sample of limestone. This carbonate sedimentary rock is also known as travetine.
It’s formed by water dissolving limestone as it flows through the rock. On the surface, when it’s warm enough and as plants absorb carbon dioxide, a layer of this rock is formed. In the past, people would use it to neutralize acidic soil.