Hay is at the base of almost all traditional meat & dairy farm products – even to the farmyard chickens eating grasshoppers brought into the yard with the new hay crop. Hay – especially cut with a scythe, has shaped Romania’s rural cultural landscape and resulted in enormous biodiversity of flowering plants, insects & birds. Other important & ecosystem shaping farming activities include grazing and cutting (shredding/pollarding) trees for leaf hay and for fencing without wire.
This structured study visit to Bulgaria is timed to coincide with a number of local festivals, including the Festival of Plums and Rakia in Trojan. The programme links cultural heritage and biodiversity. exploring how communities use the landscape and the impacts that they have on it. The programme is hosted by the Devetaki Plateau Association and your guide will be Velislava Chilingirova.
Participants will learn the basics of turf cutting and building with turf. Note: Building with turf is hard work and rather messy so you will need good boots and work clothes
We are still waiting for the final programme, but the intention is to visit the Bohinj International Flower Festival and then to carry out the rest of the programme in the Triglav National Park Gorenjska region Primorska and the Soca Valley We will still be addressing the themes listed below.
Feedback from Crispin Hill. SNH. Latvia 2017.
“I’ve very quickly put at least one of key learning areas into use. Our work on community attitudes to beaver release in the Highlands has completely taken off since we got back from Latvia. I’ve been talking to a lot of stakeholders close to an escaped pair of beavers in Strathglass which has successfully produced at least two litters of kits in the last two breeding seasons. Being able to refer to the Latvian experience of having identified a rapid beaver population expansion in the late 90s and being able to react to that with effective management, often delivered through private or community hunting groups has really helped to introduce a new angle to the conversations I’ve had with concerned land managers. Having seen the effects of a large beaver population first hand in Latvia has been invaluable in bringing credibility to the explanations I’m offering people locally about how beaver impacts can be effectively managed.”