NET Managing our Natural and Cultural Assets A programme funded by Erasmus Slovenia 2017 Reports by Danielle Casey, Scottish Natural Heritage Stuart Shaw, Scottish Natural Heritage and John McGregor, SRUC Oatridge Introduction The following three reports provide an insight into the natural heritage of Slovenia. The reports do not follow a set structure; they are […]
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.
I was part of a five person group from the Strathearn area of Scotland, which took part in what was to be the first of six exchange visits planned for 2014/2015. Our programme in Romania centred on visiting the village of Rimet in Alba County, Transylvania, to observe and take part in the local village festival. We were to be joined by a similar group from the village of Ivanci in Slovenia.
Haymaking was happening everywhere we travelled across Transylvania in Romania, from the outskirts of the city of Timisoara to the heart of the Apuseni Mountains, a few days before midsummer in June 2011. Wooden carts pulled by glossy chestnut brown horses trundled along the roads, laden with loose piles of fresh green hay. From first light to dusk, groups of two or three people laboured in the small rectangular fields, using wooden forks and rakes to turn and gather in the hay, tossing it up into conical stacks built around a central wooden support. This might be a sturdy forked branch stuck upright in the soil, a tripod or four-legged frame, or a post with several cross-bars nailed together, the top invariably poking out above the haystack like a short mast.