(C)=cultural (N)=natural There is some crossover between disciplines
||30th April – 7th May 2017
||Devetaki Plateau Association (C)
||25th – 31st May 2017
||Evenstad University (N)
||25th – 31st May 2017
||Krajina and High Tatras National Park (N)
||5th -22nd May 2017
||NE Estonia – The Estonian National Museum (C)
||1st – 8th June 2017
||Fornverkaskólinn Turf Building (C)
||05th – 11th July 2017
||Vitra Centre for Sustainable Development (N)
||22nd -29th August 2017
||Satul Verde (Green Village) (N)
||26th Jul – 01st Aug 2017
||EUCC and Ujscie Warta National Park (N)
||1st – 07th September 2017
||Latvia State Forest Service (N)
||14th -21st September 2017
||Kato Drys Municipality (C)
||18th-24nd September 2017
The objective was to develop our understanding of conservation issues and exchange ideas through meeting experts and seeing practical examples of research and wildlife management in Norway. We also all had our own personal development objectives that we wanted to achieve.
Our host for the week was Marius Kjonsberg, lecturer for the Applied Ecology and Agricultural Science Facility at the University of Hedmark. We were based mainly at the Evenstad campus, located in the south east of Norway. Marius was a fantastic host and managed to co-ordinate a great variety of topics and arranged for pertinent site visits and talks. We learnt a great deal that we hope to apply to the management of our own natural resources.
Our first day saw us travel 50km north of our base in Tampere to Seitseminen National Park. Founded in 1982 and covering an area of 45.5km², the National Park is managed by the state owned enterprise Metsähallitus. Seitseminen National Park frames a mosaic of landscapes with a diverse mix of habitats which include; ancient forests, esker ridges & open bogs.
The first stage of this was clearing one of the rooms in the building. In doing this we found artefacts from the buildings distant and recent history which ranged from metal working tools to children’s toys.
Traditional crafts and skills are alive and well in the Cyprus community of Kato Drys. Here the local community are making traditional local products for sale which have real integrity and a true sense of place. All of these products and processes rely on the 4 pillars of sustainability, Cultural, Social, Environmental and Economic.
This week long structured course looks at these traditional skills and products and considers why they have importance in our contemporary society.
The island of Saaremaa lies on the west coast ot Estonia in the Baltic Sea. Saaremaa is unique for its biodiversity and well preserved cultural and natural heritage. It is home to the Vaika Bird Sanctuary, one of the oldest nature sanctuaries in Europe. Saaremaa represents the site of one of the first Estonian Song Celebrations (1863) – a more, than 150 year – tradition of Song Celebrations is one of Estonian cultural highlights and Choral singing is one of the most widely spread traditions of Estonians.
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.”