The group was intrigued to learn that forestry age is measured differently in Bulgaria where the mean age of trees is used rather than the length of time the area has been afforested. This is due to the influence of other European countries where a more holistic approach through continuous forestry methods are adopted. This is unlike Scottish forestry which is still in the infancy of this and mostly managed on a financial /accountancy basis. The oldest tree in the park was a 500 year old beech. The group asked several questions about deer but it was apparent there was no problem with high densities due to a combination of factors, primarily predation by wolves and anthropogenic hunting. One of the rangers stated that there were probably less than one deer per 100 ha. The hunting in the region is managed by local hunting groups and licenses are issued by the Ministry for Food and Agriculture.
Funding organisation: Leonardo de Vinci organisation Promoting organisation: ARCH, Scotland Host organisation: Krajina, Slovakia Itinerary Main themes from week 1) Large extent and naturalness of woodland cover – Slovakia has 40% woodland cover nationally with a higher proportion in the areas we visited. Some of the woodland in National Parks is left entirely to natural […]
The area of Norway we visited has a number of large herbivores present in its woodlands. These include Moose, red and roe deer, with Reindeer found further north. Looking at the sites we visited their impact on the regeneration of the forests seems to be minimal, despite the fact that pinus spp. are generally prone to browsing damage. In contrast to scotland where these herbivores are generally treated as a pest in forestry terms, in Norway they are treated as a valuable forest resource, giving an valuable annual income from the sale of shooting rights and meat/skins. (up to £2800/moose for meat alone). The only area where we saw a substantial impact on forestry was in areas where the moose were fed in the winter. Winter feeding is carried out to draw the animals away from the valleys and roads in winter, and this increase in densty in the feeding areas has had a major impact on the regeneration of trees.
A NATURE EXCHANGE VISIT TO ICELAND IN JUNE 2012 This is a personal report on a visit to Skalanes Natural and Heritage Centre 17-23 June 2012. The visit was promoted and organised by the ARCH Trainer Exchange (Nature Exchange 9) and funded by the Leonardo da Vinci programme of the European Commission. Flying from Glasgow to […]
Houses in nearby villages are simpler in style, with wooden or metal doors often the only parts decorated. Roman and Turkish influences can be imagined. On day 1 we stopped in Ciclova Romana and Manuela went to collect sheep’s cheese from behind such a door. It was as if we’ve stepped back in time: green grass transported by horse drawn cart, hens pecking about, a cock crowing and the smell of mown hay and dung. When I went to primary school in the early 60s we passed a field with the last working horse; all farms had tractors by then. We hardly saw farm machinery in this part of Romania. Ten yards after the village of Ciclova Romana ends Ciclova Montana begins. We stayed there in a village house, within walking distance of forests, meadows and the Cheile Nerei National Park. We tried local produce and experienced other aspects of village life, e.g. as we ate our first meal we heard bells from cows being driven home for milking. One day the water pump broke and we brought in water from the well in the garden and used the toilet there (which may have emptied into the river which rushed past).
The itinerary for our visit was researched and organised by two students from Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) as part of their forestry degree studies where they also acted as guides, a source of information, interpreters and looked after the group on a daily basis during our stay. A group of six professionals from Scotland with mixed specialism’s within conservation from Government bodies, consultants, volunteers and ranger naturalists visited Finland where a dissemination of information was exchanged and discussions took place. The itinerary was as such that allowed for both lectures from specialists in their field and a follow up visit to sites to see some of the scientific work being carried out. The program was mixed and as such most elements appealed to the interests and disciplines of the group. This allowed for the group to discuss some issues as a group and where comparisons were drawn from a Scottish conservation perspective.
Cyprus 26th March – 3rd April Report by Alan Mitchell We arrived at Pafos airport on Saturday evening and drove to the hillside village of Pano Lefkara, about 70 miles to the east. The essence of our tour was to study the changes occurring to the landscape due to changes in land-use practices and […]
The objective of the Nature Exchange visit to eastern Slovakia was to provide opportunities for those who are involved in training in Scotland to exchange experience and best practice of nature conservation through the framework of the ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ programme of the European Commission. The Nature Exchange visit was organised and co-ordinated by Archnetwork and delivered in Slovakia by Krajina, a small private company which works in eco-tourism, Community Development and Cultural Management.
I was impressed by the Latvian stance of only planting native trees for timber production and in particular the way their native species list and climate allows for timber production and native woodland habitats to coexist under the same canopy over such vast tracts of land. I certainly felt very lucky to be able to learn about the effects of the fall of the iron curtain from people that were there when it fell, and of the management issues of such a massive land border, and even occasional visiting Bears in a way that no documentary or lecture could ever match.
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.