At first glance, Latvia is a land of forests and woodlands – some natural, pristine and undisturbed, while others are expertly managed for the benefit of biodiversity, access, recreation and timber production. Interspersed among the forests are many farms and homesteads, managing the land in a welcome low-intensive way and many with their own special white stork nest in the heart of the farm complex. This intrinsic link with the natural world and the tolerance of farming towards wildlife – even some large predators which are not always welcome in Scotland – was a revelation.
We were all struck by the extensively rural economy out with the main settlements and the connection the bulk of the population still had with working and caring for the land. From gathering firewood to digging up potatoes in patchwork fields, the links of the people to the land were pronounced.
The following link will download our Joint Report Latvia_2013