Norway: Wildlife, Carnivore and Human Management
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Norway: Wildlife, Carnivore and Human Management

… that Norway, with its greater biodiversity intactness, has been far more effective than Scotland in managing and protecting its natural capital resources. This raises the question of whether Scotland can reverse biodiversity decline and build climate resilience by emulating the wildlife management practices employed in Norway?

NORWAY: Native Woodland and Grazing in Central Norway – August 2022
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NORWAY: Native Woodland and Grazing in Central Norway – August 2022

“Combined works of nature and humankind, they express a long and intimate relationship between peoples and their natural environment.”
This opening statement from UNESCO’s description of Cultural Landscapes included on the World Heritage List perhaps provides an indication of one reason why Scotland’s uplands, peatlands, woodlands and forests seem very much the poorer neighbour to Norway. Throughout the course the visit of ‘it’s just what we do here in Norway’ was repeated.

NORWAY: Evenstad 2022 Wildlife, Carnivore and Human Management
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NORWAY: Evenstad 2022 Wildlife, Carnivore and Human Management

It was quite surprising for me to discover that all predators can be hunted, some without the need for a license (fox, badger, mink, pine marten), and some hunted under a quota system (lynx, wolverine, bear and wolves). Decision making is decentralised through the empowerment of local stakeholders with hunters playing a key role by submitting bag data and helping with the collection of scats for DNA analysis and trail cams to monitor populations of predators.

Observing Agri-Forestry in Southern Spain
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Observing Agri-Forestry in Southern Spain

A visit to a working farm in southern Spain, approximately 70 km north of Seville.
The farm, Dehesa San Francisco, is in the Huelva province of Andalucía, close to the village of Santa Olalla del Cala. The farm is owned by the Fundación Monte Mediterráneo (Mediterranean Mountain Foundation) and has been managed by Ernestine Lüdeke and her husband for approximately 30 years.

An Iceland Turf Tribute to Pink Floyd
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An Iceland Turf Tribute to Pink Floyd

Brian Wilson: Traditional Craft Maestro ANOTHER TURF in THE WALL    (by Pink FJORD)   We don’t need no new construction, We don’t need cement at all. No concrete mortars in our buildings, We don’t need no bricks at all.   Hey! Helgi! Leave them spades alone! All in all it’s just, another Turf in the […]

Slovenia: Wildflowers & Sustainable Tourism
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Slovenia: Wildflowers & Sustainable Tourism

Faced with a crowded national park and local communities and crafts struggling to survive from traditional activities,  their strategy is to encourage and promote tourism as a way to help the communities thrive. Educating the local communities (from school children to farmers) is key to the success of the programme. Tourism is seen as the generator of sustainable change.
It was interesting to hear that their Slovenia Green Platinum Scheme was inspired by the Green Tourism Scheme in Scotland. The Triglav National Park and more particularly Bohinj have now taken it a step further by creating a Triglav Quality Mark and a specific Bohinj brand .

Slovenia Bohinj Wildflower Festival Story Map Report
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Slovenia Bohinj Wildflower Festival Story Map Report

The Wildflower Festival provided a way to encourage locals to keep the meadows uncut for longer periods of time, reduce pressures on the local communities by offering a tourism package that moves away from ‘lake, sun, beer’ model, outside of the peak season. It futher, spotlighted the cultural/social dimensions of nature, which is something I’ve been wanting to build more experience in as it is an important aspect of my current role, helping to develop an ecosystem health approach to protected area monitoring, which involves incorporating society and people into measuring the health of a given ecosystem.

ESTONIA: An Ancient Maritime Nation
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ESTONIA: An Ancient Maritime Nation

Maarika Naagel of Heritage Tours for outstanding hospitality, infectious enthusiasm, expert knowledge and endless patience; for generously sharing their home; and for safe driving, music and random introductions to Estonian subculture.
Estonians have built a successful marine tourism product. It has been made possible by the willing cooperation between the EU, the state, the municipalities, community groups and entrepreneurs, and supported by national and regional policy.

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