The Mechové údolí Nature Reserve (Moss Valley) is found at the very edge of Český les (Bohemian Forest) in the vicinity of the village of Brtná near Dolní Žadnov. Painstaking detective work of botanists in search of a rare orchid, i.e. bog orchid (Hammarbya paludosa) preceded the foundation of the nature reserve.
An old herbarium entitled "Květena Čech a Moravy" (Flora of Bohemia and Moravia), which was written by botanist J. Jahn in 1911, mentions the occurrence of the bog orchid namely in the area around the village of Brtná. Since then, however, the bog orchid had not been sighted in the area and it was included among the rarest plant species in the Czech Republic. The yellow and green orchid grows up to 15 cm in height and it ranks among the smallest orchid species. In 1996, one of our leading orchid experts, Ing. Procházka, decided to explore the surroundings of Brtná and to try to find the bog orchid. He asked the employees of the Cheb Museum to join him and they actually succeeded in finding the delicate orchid. Moreover, they revealed that the natural habitat of the bog orchid is a peat bog unique in the district of Cheb. They discovered the bog orchid in a valley of a nameless brook under Mechový vrch (Moss Hill). Apart from this site, the bog orchid may be found only at two other localities in the CR (both in the district of Česká Lípa).
Moss Valley was declared a nature reserve in 1998 and apart from the rare bog orchid, it is home to a number of other protected plant species, e.g. it is the only locality of the critically endangered white beaksedge (Rhynchospora alba) in the Bohemian Forest. We may also find critically endangered carnivorous plants, e.g. common butterworts (Pinguicula vulgaris), round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) lesser bladderwort (Urticularia minor), and critically endangered plant species, e.g. bogbean (Menyanthes trifoliata) and cranberry (Oxycoccus palustris).
Several cold springs of acidulous mineral water may be found in the vicinity of the village of Brtná. In the adjacent valley leading to the nature reserve, three acidulous water springs without catching may be found on the right side below the forest, i.e. Brtenská kyselka (Brtná acidulous water), Obecní kyselka (Common acidulous water) and Fridrichův pramen (Fridrich's spring) by the railway tracks.
Another nature reserve may be found not far from Poustka – i,e. the Lipovka Nature Reserve.
Nature lovers will undoubtedly be pleased by the fact that the adjoining pastures are managed by the ecological farm in Brtná.