Butterfly paradise

There are not many places like this in the Czech Republic. Half our butterfly species still survive here.These remarkably biodiverse grasslands are only a short walk from the centre of Ždánice.

In the open rolling landscape between the municipality and the wooded areas of Ždánický Forest you will find a patchwork of former common pastures, old orchards, abandoned terraces, fallow land, small field strips and vineyards, interlinked by a web of ancient field paths.

This environment is a small relic of the steppe and forest-steppe that used to cover much of the country, and you can see here many of the natural jewels that are now rarely found elsewhere.

The most spectacular are the butterflies - 84 species have beeen found here: Swallowtails, Clouded Yellows and Orange-tips, Hairstreaks and Blues, Emperors, Admirals and Maps, large and small Fritillaries, Satyrs and Wood Nymphs, Skippers and Burnets in the family Zygaeninae.

As well as butterflies, many other species of insects abound here - Praying Mantis or the huge armour-plated Stag Beetle. Moreover, you can see or hear many species of birds - Corn Bunting, Wryneck and Barred Warbler.

In the summer the fields are a haze of colour - don't miss the beautiful array of orchids (Military and Frangnant), the pink of Restharrow and Centaury, the creamy white flowers of Gromwell and the blues of the rare Cross Gentian.

The best time for butterfly watching is May or June, but Butterfly Paradiseoffers glimpses of its beauty and natural gems throughout the year.