Lime burning in Meziad is a family and village scale business. The limestone is burnt using renewable wood fuel at temperatures over eight hundred degrees Celsius for three days. Lime burning was once an important craft in the UK. The purity of the wood fired product and the fact that it achieves a much higher price than the factory made lime demonstrates there is still a window for old skills in a modern market.
Our journey started when we closed our front doors behind us, but the experience of Romania began when we landed at Cluj-Napoca late in the evening: fellow passengers burst into applause as the plane bumped onto the runway. Our guides, Martin Clark & Monica Oprean, welcomed us at the terminal. There were nine participants altogether: […]
Our week in West Pomerania was designed to give us an insight into as many different aspects of nature conservation as possible including state managed national parks and landscape parks, as well as nature reserves owned and managed by NGOs. The full programme gave us a feel for the biological richness of the area and […]
On our final day we visited the coast, staying in accommodation in Kamien Pomorski on the Zalew Kamienski, a large lagoon connected to the even larger Szczecin Lagoon. The lagoons are separated from the sea by only a narrow stretch of land and are saline due to connectivity with the sea via short channels. This […]
Our sixth day kicked off at the field office of the Society for the Coast, where we met with Dr. Małgorzata Torbé, project coordinator of the Odra Delta Nature Park. We were given an introduction to the park and its land management issues before heading out for a walk on site. The Society for the […]
Early morning travel saw us arriving at the city of Szczecin in West Pomerania. The city is the regional capital, the gateway to the Baltic Sea and clearly a very important port for this part of Poland. We were delighted to discover that we were to board a small river cruiser and explore the hidden […]
The horror of what people have to go through during times of war is often difficult to contemplate and we are fortunate that most of us will never have to experience this. It is undeniable however that war can have a significant impact on the way a landscape is shaped, and an examination of Cedynia […]
Day one began with a journey from the airport at Poznan to Slonsk and the headquarters of the Ujscie Warty National Park. There we met the Park Director, Konrad Wypychowski, and were given a number of presentations on the administration and history of nature conservation in Poland, as well as an introduction to the habitats […]
A special mention must be given to the Troyan Museum of Crafts. This is an excellent museum at all levels. Situated in a building with a long history of its own, it details the history of the folk crafts of the region including textiles, pottery, metalwork and woodturning.
The arrangement of the exhibits is chronological and the information detailed and accessible to all age groups. All the exhibits have detailed information about their place in both the geography and history of the region and give a good understanding of the development of land use in the region. Visitors can choose the level of detail they wish to achieve with a selection of ‘apps’ being available to those who wish to see more about how people actually worked in the sector. This facility is particularly attractive for school groups. I would love to be able to take my students to visit, to demonstrate what can be done. The National Exhibition of crafts in Oreshak provided a good complementary visit.
As we entered, a choir struck up in the gallery and the sonorous tones of eastern sacred music filled the colossal space within. A service was on-going. There are no pews in Orthodox churches, the congregation standing or sitting along the wall benches. The air was thick with incense and the priest chanted as the choir sang. This was all very alien to me! The whole atmosphere took on a strangely hypnotic feel which was quite, in my opinion, unsettling. I noticed people; heads bowed and in tears, moved utterly in the midst of devotion to their faith and God. Two women in particular caught my attention; they were dressed very soberly and wore traditional headscarves. They sat on wall benches and rocked back and forwards, eyes closed in what appeared to be a sort of devotional trance. It all began to feel a bit oppressive and I went back out into the air and light. Faith and I have never been easy bedfellows