A NESTING ISLAND AMONG THE ROLLING FIELDS OF MORAVIAN TUSCANY
Surrounded by rolling hills and extensive vineyards in the south-eastern part of the Czech Republic lie three reservoirs, called Nové Mlýny. They were built between 1975 and 1988 to prevent annual floods. The reservoirs have not only created a beautiful body of water but also become a nesting ground for birds and a stop-over for migrating northland geese from Scandinavia and Russia. Today, the upper reservoir is dedicated to recreations like windsurfing and fishing; the middle reservoir, Věstonice, is a nature reserve listed in the European Union’s Natura 2000 network; while the lower reservoir is used for irrigation. In constructing the reservoirs, the village of Mušov was flooded. Its only surviving building is a 13th century church, which stood on a small hill above the village.
In 2021, when state-owned watercourse administrator Povodí Moravy, s.p. (Morava River Board corporation) was looking to extend the number of bird nesting possibilities in the Věstonice reservoir, they enlisted SF Marina to install unique floating islands for nesting birds. The nesting islands are made up of three sets of docks, in total 17 pieces of ten and 12-metre floating concrete pontoons and are anchored with heavy chains and pre-cast concrete anchors to accommodate the fluctuations in the water level that result from reservoir operations. With their weight and low centre of gravity, the pontoons are extremely stable, even when high winds create choppy waters. Wooden fences protect the nesting terns from predators and stop hatchlings from falling into the water. The concrete pontoons were produced at the SF Marina plant in Wallhamn, Sweden and installed with assistance from local partner PROZAC s.r.o..