Nature reserve

“Polanki” Nature Reserve is a nature reserve of a total area of 184,87 ha, located in Slonne Mountains, in Bykowce. It was created on 14th of June 1996 by the Polish Minister of Environment decree, on the area managed by the Forest Inspectorate of Brzozów, forestry Bykowce. Due to natural values the reserve was covered by European Ecological Network Natura 2000: PLB180003 the Slonne Mountains and PLH180013 the Slonne Mountains. The reserve aims to protect forest community of the Carpathian beech. The forest tree species include: beech, which constitutes 25% of the area, fir with few sycamores and English oaks. It also happens to meet the specimens of birch and small-leaved linden. The forests are famous for their rich groundcover which abounds in rare and protected species. These include, among others, bird’s-nest orchid, hart’s-tongue fern, deer fern, great horsetail, ivy, martagon lily, goat’s bird, wild spikenard, elder, red elderberry, hazel, February daphne, dogwood, alder buckthorn. In the spring the pride of the groundcover are: spring vetchling, yellow archangel, unspotted lungwort, wood anemone, yellow anemone and east-carpathian species of aposeris. It is also worth to mention growing here ferns, i.e.: hard shield fern and lady fern. The reserve inhabit many species of the animals, i.e.: beetles from the ground beetles family, scarce swallowtail, fire salamander, yellow-bellied toad, Alpine newt, toad, European tree frog, viviparous lizard, grass snake, common viper and slow worm. We can also see and hear many interesting species of the birds like: common quail, hoopoe, hazel grouse, grey partridge, golden oriole, white-throated dipper and goldfinch.


The most common birds are: firecrest, blackbird, chaffinch, wood nuthatch, icterine warbler, hawfinch, robin, Eurasian blue tit, marsh tit, and coal tit. The species of woodpeckers met in the reserve include: great-spotted woodpecker, three-toed woodpecker, grey-headed woodpecker, black woodpecker, and white-backed woodpecker. Among the predatory birds that you might found here are: northern goshawk, common buzzard, Eurasian sparrowhawk, and lesser spotted eagle. On the reserve paths you can often meet roe deer, fox and deer. Moreover there are also such animals species as: European pine marten, beech marten, wild boar, wolf, lynx and weasel. The species of bats in the reserve include: lesser horseshoe bat and brown long-eared bat. Polanki Reserve is an excellent place for visiting and for educational trips. This was facilitated by marked educational path and few trails running through the ridge of the Slonne Mountains. The trails was created thanks to a financial support of Forest Inspectorate of Brzozów and Sanok municipality. The educational path was created in cooperation of foresters, League for the Preservation of Nature in Sanok and Landscape Park Collective in Przemysl. It is 2 km long and consists of 10 stops. Visiting time is estimated at 2 hours. The path is marked with white squares with diagonally red stripe Every stop shows different qualities of the sanctuary.

The signs inform us about the presence of monumental firs or the black woodpecker which signs of food seeking are visible on the dead fir trunks. In the nearby of the path there is also crude oil mine from the XIX century. You can also relax on the terrace built in the charming valley. There are two springs- the first one sulfuric and the second slow flowing in rusty colour, containing iron.

Protected landscape areas

East Beskids Protected Landscape Area was created by Krosno voivode ordinance from 2nd July 1998. Total area of this, located in the Eastern Beskids and on Dynowskie Foothills, park is 98595 ha. Park stretches from San Valley Landscape Park to Cisna-Wetlina Landscape Park. It is located within the communes: Brzozow, Dydnia, Nozdrzec, Baligrod, Lesko, Olszanica, Solina, Komancza, Sanok, Zagorz, Czarna, Lutowiska, Ustrzyki Dolne and the town of Ustrzyki Dolne. The area is extremely diverse in terms of natural assets. It is a very picturesque place with two pearls in the crown of the mountains- Lake Solina and Lake Myczkowieckie. It has unique geomorphological structure, natural system of altitudinal zonation and abundant fauna and flora. Among the characteristic fragments of geological building we should mention natural rock formations and classical uncovers of geological formations. Forests covers almost 7-% of the area of the high degree of naturalness. The stands are dominated by beech and fir. Among the natural curiosities we can include following places: “Olsza kosa” nature reserve nr Baligrod and three nature reserves by the Myczkowieckie Lake: “Kamieniolom na Kozincu” in Bobrka, “Nad Jeziorem Myczkowieckim” in Berdo massif, and “Przelom Sanu pod Grodziskiem” in Zwierzyniec, forest reserve “Grad w Sredniej Wsi”, and the only one subcarpathian fauna reserve- “Bobry w Uhercach”, which protects endangered species of Eurasian beaver and birds living by the water bodies on the San River. Among them we can find such ornithological treasures as: lesser spotted eagle, golden eagle, great cormorant, black stork, grey heron, white-backed woodpecker, three-toed woodpecker and wintering wild ducks. Reptiles are represented by 8 species, all of them are protected species. In the nearby of Orelec and Lake Myczkowieckie you can meet very rare in Poland Carpathian newt, European green lizard, fire salamander and also fire-bellied toads, tree frogs and newts.


Landscape Parks

Slonne Mountains Landscape Park- The Sanocko-Turzanskie Mountains is one of the least known mountain ranges in Poland. The park was created by Krosno voivode ordinance in 1992. Originally the park area was 38,096 ha, however it was extended and now it is 51,392 ha. It is located within the communes: Lesko, Olszanica, Sanok, Tyrawa Woloska, Ustrzyki Dolna and the town of Sanok, and it covers also 59 villages. Besides its landscape values a dense drainage system is also an ecological corridor facilitating plants, fungi and animals migration.

This is one of the reasons why The Slonne Mountains are famous for its biodiversity. You can see here splendid tessellated landscape dominated by mixed coniferous forests (60% - 35.490 ha), meadows, fields and pastures ( 32% - 15.557 ha). There is a distinct two-layer forest system of plant communities. Traversed by agricultural lands and interesting watercourses, large forest complexes are very favorable environment for a living for many animals species, including these characteristic for the forest fauna. In the park you can meet very often deer and roe deer. Among the rare and protected species living in the park it is worth to mention: brown bear, lynx, edible dormouse, forest dormouse, wolf and wildcat. In the streams’ valleys beavers build they lodges. The local fauna is represented by 300 species of vertebrates, 127 of which are birds, i.e.: western marsh harrier, hen harrier, lesser spotted eagle, golden eagle, corn crake, Eurasian eagle-owl, common kingfisher, grey-headed woodpecker, black stork, European honey buzzard. The grand drainage system encourages the biodiversity and is the habitat of many species.

Natura 2000 Areas

The Slonne Mountains 180003 (Special Protection Area): located in The Slonne Mountains Landscape Park terrain of the area of 55 880 ha. The Slonne Mountains set the border between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, they are important breeding habitat for the forest and predatory birds. It is also one of the main breeding habitats for the few rare species of birds living in Poland. These include: golden eagle, corn crake, Ural owl, white-backed woodpecker, three-toed woodpecker, collared flycatcher, and barred warbler. It is worth to mention that in the bird migration period this is a place where huge flocks of cranes stop.

The San River PLH 180007: located on the height from 175 to 250 metres above the sea level and the area of 1374,5 ha, terrain covering middle course of the San on the stretch between Sanok and Jaroslaw. It starts in sanok on the bialogorski bridge and finishes on the Sanok Commune border. There is 6 protected species of the fish in the area included in Annex II of Habitats Directive. These are: brook lamprey, white-finned gudgeon, asp, bullhead, tinfoil and Kessler’s gudgeon. Worth noting are not mentioned in Annex II important animals species which also inhabit this area. They include: Schneider, barbell, common nase, alpine bullhead, wels catfish and vimba bream.


Upper San Drainage Basin PLH180021: the terrain of the area of 55 036,8 ha, covering the San River from the dam in Myczkowce to Sanok, with its tributaries: Olszanka, Oslawa with its affluents and Sanoczek. There is 31 species of fish in the San; which belong to nine families; five of these species are under the species protection. In the upper Sun up to Oslawa estuary dominating fish species are grayling and trout. Among the local ichtyofauna are as well: cyprinidae freshwater fish such as: chub, common dace, common nase, tinfoil, barbell, stone loach and common minnow. Down the river become to dominate such species as: chub, tinfoil, schneider, common nase and gudgeon. According to Annex I of Habibtats Directive, valuable habitats including pioneer vegetation on the mountain streams rock, riparian forest and riverine willow scrubs are protected areas.

The Słonne Mountains PLH 1800013 (Special Area of Conservation): This area covers part of the Slonne Mountains with the highest peak Slonny (671 m ). The foothill zone is dominated by the beech and beech-fir forests. The area is important due to preservation of, among others, habitats of Central European and subcontinental carpinion betuli, as well as fertile beech, sycamore and maple-linden forests on the mountainsides and hillsides. It is also worth to mention about opulent flora of vascular plants including east-carpathian species..