Delayed from from 2020 due to COVID restrictions, our group finally made it in early July 2022. Follow our story as we explore a small area of Western Slovenia, welcomed by many interesting people who told us their stories. This report is hosted on the “StoryMap” website.
I would start by saying it was a wonderful experience. I feel so privileged to have been given the opportunity to take part in this learning journey . I have enjoyed every single minute of it ,learned and exchange vision, ideas and best practice with both our Slovenian partners and hosts but also with my Scottish colleagues – which made the entire experience even more fulfilling .
In May 2022, Turizem Bohinj hosted a structured course in Triglav National Park, Slovenia, for those working in Scotland in the natural and cultural heritage sectors. We travelled to various parts of Triglav National Park and Ljubljana to explore the wildflower festival, national park management, sustainable tourism destination management, developing brands in a high biodiversity area and heritage interpretation.
Our guide Lucija Gartner manages a farm with her family and balances traditional farming with some diversification techniques. They have converted one of their old farm buildings into tourist accommodation and offer guided tours and cheesemaking workshops for visiting tourists. The cheesemaking workshop was one of the highlights
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 .
Secovlje Salt Pans
We learned that the park is on the list of Ramsar wetlands of international importance. In fact, in 2003 the solina was damaged which meant no harvesting took place, however European funding helped restore the site for birdlife, which in turn enabled salt harvesting to resume. It was really interesting to see how much of an asset wildlife has been for the park, as it enabled them to restore the salt-pans, and the park clearly takes great pride in its wildlife.
We spent a week in Slovenia, travelling far and wide, learning about various topics such as: sustainable development, biodiversity, habitat & ecosystem management, adaptive approaches to species management, tourism development & management, environmental interpretation, cultural landscape management & sustainability. The following story map illustrates our educational and unforgettable experience.
One of the biggest challenges highlighted within the wetland examples was their future management and development, with uncertainty over governance models. This too, is a challenge for Scotland’s wetland areas, with implications for our exit from Europe
“There are some wonderful, passionate and committed people working to protect our biodiversity”. This report on the Slovenian exchange is contained in a single PDF file.
Participants of previous visits talk about their experiences. Richard Thompson This report describes the wooded landscapes of central and southern Slovenia visited during the 2013 ARCH Network study tour. This tour was funded by the Leonardo da Vinci Lifelong Learning Programme, promoted by ARCH and hosted by Vitra. A varied programme was arranged for the […]