Bracken (Slo.: »stelja«) meadows are the most typical and recognizable natural landscape attractions in Bela krajina. They are usually not found anywhere else in Slovenia. Bracken meadows consist of a birch tree forest, pines and undergrowth of bracken, spring heath, and common heather. Because of the specific plants that grow in these meadows, they bring a unique biotic diversity to Bela krajina.
Bracken and other plants usually cover over 80% of the floor and the trees cover less than 75% of the surface. Vinomer bracken meadows are listed in Natura 2000 as a natural heritage site and are therefore protected. Typically bracken is cut once a year. It is then dried and used as litter for cattle, horses, and other farm animals. These meadows are home to various mushrooms, butterflies, insects, orchids, and other animals. When bracken is cut owls are frequent visitors. Many folk customs and traditions in Bela krajina include bracken.
Where to discover
When driving from Metlika towards Novo mesto, at the roundabout choose the first exit and head towards Metlika's center. Drive about 1 km. You should see a road sign for Radovica. Follow the sign. Drive straight for about 2,8 km. Vinomer bracken meadows should be on your right, with the parking, benches, table, and info table clearly visible.