Mining and post mining landscape in the area of Kowala in Sitkówka-Nowiny commune (the Świętokrzyskie Mountains) and the prospects of using it in geotourism
Sitkówka-Nowiny Commune is located in the western part of geographical region of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains which are part of Kielecka Upland in the province of Lesser Poland Upland. The western part of the commune is a part of Chęcińsko-Kielecki Landscape Park where there is mainly agricultural and natural landscape. In the central
and eastern part, where exploitation of carbonate rock raw materials is developing intensively for the purpose of construction industry, industrial landscape is dominant. The most interesting area as far as geology and mining are concerned is the area of Kowala (eastern part of the commune where there are two types of landscape. The first one is mining landscape related to currently run mining activities in numerous mining enterprises located in the area of the research (open-pits, mine waste dumps, borrow pits, haul roads, concentrating plants). The second one is post mining landscape which appears in the area where the mining activity is finished (old mine workings and old waste dumps).
Due to the great educational, scientific and cognitive value mining and post mining landscape in the area of Kowala may be used in geotourism by designing geological or geotourist educational path. In the outdoor research carried out in March and April 2012 the route of geotourist educational path „Geological and mining treasures of Kowala”
was designed with educational stops and suggestions to use post mining objects for the purpose of geotourism. The route would go as follows: primary school in Kowala – mining enterprise „Trzuskawica” – „Stara Trzuskawica” (old open pit) – „Osadniki” (old open pit in Sitkówka) – mining enterprise „Radkowice-Północ” – inanimate natural monument „Kowala” – mining enterprise „Kowala” – primary school in Kowala. The geotourist path would be especially useful for students of geology, geography, environmental protection, landscape architecture during their outdoor practice and in their scientific research and for students of secondary schools, gymnasium and primary schools as complementary material in the program of geography and science classes.