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 will focus on the management of nature sites, traditional crafts and culture heritage as part of local development. 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
Slovenia has rich biological and cultural diversity and covers a range of landscapes from Alpine to coastal. This course has a focus on the management of species and landscapes through sustainable development, including rural entrepreneurship.
Feedback from Stuart Graham, SNH, NET4 2018: I thoroughly enjoyed the training
trip to Latvia. I cannot believe how much we
managed to fit into our week and the attention to
detail to the arrangements from our host (Andis)
was impeccable. The quality of all the individuals
we met was of the highest quality and they were
from the top levels of their respective organisations
and devoted their time to share their knowledge.
Our group stuck together well and we therefore
learned from each other as well as our hosts. We
also got a great insight to Latvian customs,
tourism, diet/foods, history as well as landscape,
wildlife and conservation.
The NET 5 visit to Finland will focus on different aspects of forestry and biodiversity management and education. The group will also meet with Finnish forestry students to learn about environmental education and to share their skills from Scotland.
The richness and diversity of Eastern Slovakia’s wildlife – Slovakia contains two EU biogeographical zones – Alpine and Pannonian. There are many semi-natural forests and grasslands and the diversity of landscapes from the Carpathian beech forests of Poloniny to the coniferous forests of the High Tatras and the karst plateaux of Slovensky Kras. These areas support a large number of endemic species with a striking abundance of wildflowers and insects.
Feedback from Nathan Berrie, NET4: “One fundamental difference
between Norwegians and many Scots is the social
and cultural significance of nature. Throughout our
time in Norway it became apparent that most
Norwegians have spent much of their life outdoors
from a young age. it is through these early life interactions
with nature that Norwegians are creating
generations of environmental stewards. From our
experience in Norway it became clear that nature
was a normal part of being a Norwegian citizen and
as a result their approach to outdoor enjoyment is
arguably more sustainable than in Scotland.
Ujście Warty National Park landscape is a mosaic of meadows, pastures and areas overgrown by sedge and reed.
Odra Delta Nature Park is also an open laboratory where group of scientific realize works connected with flora, fauna, but also social aspects of nature conservancy.