Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Ducks Fight Back in Cesky Krumlov

The people of Cesky Krumlov watched in horror as 21 trees were chopped down on the island in the middle of Vltava River, which has for so long formed a green backdrop to photographs of the ancient centre of the town. The reason given for this savagery has been "some flood prevention" works, but how this justifies the destruction of mature trees (mostly willows) whose roots bind together the soil and resisted the flood of 2002 is hard to see. Local sentiment sees a more sinister and mercenary motive - ie there's money to be made somehow. How did this get through planning without anyone realising what was proposed? Answer: the planning application had not mentioned the trees' destruction. Very quickly a petition was gathered with hundreds of signatures, but it was too late to save the trees, but could it save the island?

In addition to the trees the island was also something of a nature reserve with a colony of wild ducks, which were often the subject of tourist photos, and also the home of grey wagtails. Now the island is churned earth, which will be eroded away by the next winter flood. But overnight the ducks started to fight back. A metre high duck appeared together with a placard saying "Ducks against diggers." and "Don't take our island away." With mutant ducks on the case in this country with a taste for the surreal 'the powers that be' should quaking (or should that be quacking) in their boots.

For more on this story do visit http://krumlovbrit.blogspot.com/ and for a historic pictures of the island visit http://www.vizeck.cz/


Philip Wilkinson said...

Hats off to the people of Krumlov for protesting about this sad and senseless destruction.

Karen said...

I'm surprised that stuff like this could be changed so easily at a World Heritage Site. Couldn't the locals call up UNESCO and get them involved?

potok said...

Believe me Karen you would be horrified by how much stuff can happen here. See my previous posts about the Alchemist's House and UNESCO. That is just one example.

Being a UNESCO site means there is extra money from visitors and grants which can be bad for the town.


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