14. 6. 2022

Mattoni 1873 to support the diversity of Czech nature. Establilshing Rudi Mattoni Butterfly Meadows together with conservationists

The producer of mineral water Mattoni 1873 together with the Czech Union of Nature Conservationists (ČSOP) wants to return species diversity and endangered butterflies to several locations in the Czech Republic. Monitoring of the sites and initial work began last autumn on publicly accessible land around the plants in Mnichov, Byňov and Poděbrady. Among other things, the project builds on the legacy of Heinrich Mattoni's great-grandson, who was a renowned American entomologist specialising in butterflies.

In recent decades, biodiversity has been rapidly declining and not only the butterflies, but also common insects and other animals and plants are disappearing. This is mostly due to inadequate landscape management and climate change. "We decided to focus on butterflies based on the recommendations of experts from CSOP. Some species of butterflies are considered so called umbrella species and by protecting their natural habitat we will also support other insects or entire natural communities. Moreover, butterflies are important pollinators," says Klára Hálová, Sustainability Manager at Mattoni 1873, describing the motivation behind the project.

Butterfly meadows are currently being created on almost 15 hectares in the wider surroundings of the mineral water sources, in locations most of which belong to Mattoni 1873, and are freely accessible to the public. "Thanks to the clean and diverse nature and consistent care of the surrounding water sources, we can provide quality mineral water. That's why we decided to support the restoration of biodiversity right where we operate - around our production plants, where we bottle Magnesia, Poděbradka and Dobrá voda mineral waters," adds Klára Hálová.

Detailed monitoring and restoration plan was provided by the project partner Czech Union of Nature Conservationists. In the future, the sites will be expanded not only in the vicinity of other plants in the Czech Republic, but also abroad. The whole concept of care for the selected sites and the work itself is under the responsibility of the CSOP. "Restoring the biodiversity of the areas is a long run, it may take several years before we see the first results. Each area has its own specifics and work plan. Most often it involves mowing and removal of woody debris, as well as the elimination of invasive plant species, building ponds or pools and sowing flowery meadows with green hay so that we work with the local plant gene pool," says Petr Stýblo from ČSOP.

Rudi Mattoni's Butterfly Meadows

The biodiversity restoration project will be named after the great-grandson of the founder of Mattoni, Rudolf Heinrich Mattoni († January 3, 2022), who was a distinguished entomologist and professor emeritus at the University of California. He focused specifically on butterflies, which he considered to be one of the most important indicators of environmental purity. He was a recognised expert, particularly on blue butterflies. Although Rudi Mattoni was born and lived most of his life in the United States, he did not forget the Czech heritage of his ancestors. He not only visited the country regularly, but was also a patron of Czech natural sciences. In the 1990s, for example, he used his funds to finance research by students at the University of South Bohemia.

"We decided to choose butterflies based on the recommendations of experts and it is more than symbolic that Rudi, who often visited the Czech Republic, and especially Karlovy Vary, was also involved. We want his legacy to continue, which is why we named the butterfly meadows project after him." Klára Hálová from Mattoni 1873