It is one of the oldest and largest nature reserves in the district of Karlovy Vary and the most valuable part of the Slavkovský les Protected Landscape Area. The site was declared a reserve protecting five peat bogs in the area surrounding the village of Kladská in 1933. The peat bogs were registered by the Ministry of Education and National Edification under the names: Glatzfilz (Kladské rašeliniště) – the present-day Tajga, Birkfilz (Březové rašeliniště) – the present-day Lysina, Zangfilz (Klestnaté rašeliniště) – the present-day Paterák, Gansenwaldfilz (Celolesní rašeliniště) – the present-day Malé rašeliniště, and Schachtwiesfilz (Rašeliniště šachetní louka, ) –the present-day Husí les or Husí filc.
Natural scientists distinguish three types of peat bogs. The Kladská Peat Bogs are a unique complex of mountain raised bogs situated at elevations ranging from 800 to 930 metres with a total area of almost 300 hectares, the largest being the Tajga (Taiga). The Kladské rašeliny (Peat-bog) National Nature Reserve has been included in the network of Sites of European Community Significance since 2005.
Raised bogs were formed tens of thousands of years ago at locations where water was retained in pools. In the alluvium period (Holocene), the pools were initially overgrown by aquatic plants and later by various peat moss species. The pools were gradually shrinking in size due to the spreading vegetation until disappearing completely. Throughout this process, organic material was transformed into peat. Subsequently, mainly pines and birches appeared on the hard surface areas.
A nature trail leading through a part of the Tajga Peat Bog was opened in September 1977. It winds through the peat bog along Kladský rybník (Kladská Pond) on an elevated wooden bridge path and it is therefore not accessible by bike. You may leave your bike at one of the pubs in Kladská. The nature trail is 1.6 km long and there are numerous resting places and look-out points along the way. The nature trail originally started at the Kladská Pond, but it was moved in front of the U tetřeva (At the Grouse) Restaurant in 2002.
The peat bogs are the natural habitat of typical wild flora and fauna species that have accustomed to the local acidic environment and rather hungry soil. Apart from the Norway spruce (Picea abies), we may thus also find dwarf tree forms, such as the Swiss mountain pine (Pinus rotundata)
, dwarf mountain pine (Pinus x pseudopumilio)
or the European white birch (Betula pubescens)
. Frequent shrub species include the bog bilberry (Vaccinium uliginosum)
or the marsh cranberry (Oxycoccus quadripetalus)
, we may also find the black crowberry (Empetrum nigrum)
and the bog rosemary (Andromeda polifolia). As regards herb species, we should mention carnivorous plants, such as the common butterworts (Pinguicula vulgaris)
and round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia)
, which embrace cautiousless insects with their sticky leaves and with the aid of secreted juices, they decompose soft parts of their pray into an absorbable solution and that is why we may find remnants of non-digested solid parts, particularly wing covers, in their immediate surroundings. The environment is favourable for Magellan's peat moss (Sphagnum magellanicum), small cranberry moss carpet (Sphagnum rubellum)
and bog moss (Sphagnum russowii).
Even though wildlife is not as abundant, we may come across a large number of common, as well as very rare species. The moorland clouded yellow butterfly (Colias palaeno), appears in early spring when the peat bogs are still covered with snow and its caterpillars are able to survive freezing temperatures below – 30°C. Colourful species of skimmers and dragonflies typical for raised bogs are a common sight near water bodies and streams. Typical residents of the peat bogs are wolf spiders (Lycosa singoriensis), which create their chamber-like holes in moss stands. Amphibians are only represented by the common frog (Rana temporaria) and reptiles by the common European adder (Vipera berus), mostly in its black form. In tranquil coves, we may still hear the rare wood grouse (Tetrao urogallus) or the black stork (Ciconia nigra). Bog forest stands are also the habitat of our smallest owl, i.e. the Eurasian pygmy owl (Glaucidium passerinum), or the majestic goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) and the wood doctor – black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius). In 1994, the local forests have become the home of our largest cat-like carnivore, the Eurasian lynx (lynx lynx).