New Nature Exchange programmes for 2012.

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This year we have  programmes for Romania, Iceland, Norway, Latvia, Slovakia, France, Slovenia and Bulgaria.  6 people from Scotland will go to each country, spending 7-8 days participating in workshops, site visits, hands-on activities and seminars.  This is intended to be an intellectual exchange – European partners will come to Scotland, but you are not obliged to host them.  Although we do hope to initiate new projects from all of our partners.  Nature Exchange offers wonderful opportunities to network with people doing similar work in Scotland.

Norway                       7th -13th May

The visit will be  hosted by Hedmark University College at the Evenstad Campus which housesthe Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management.  The project will focus on:  Beaver and grouse management.  Fisheries Management.  Wildlife Crime.  Deer management (comparisons with Scotland). Predator control. Attitudes to compensation and carnivore management and the balance between hunting and conservation. Participants will visit  Dovrefjell  and Sunndalsfjella National Park.

Romania                     13th -20th May

The exchange will be hosted by Satul Verde in Romania.  Participants will  explore a wide range of issues around local and traditional forestry from woodland ownership structures and management to use of local timber from use as a building material to wood fuel and production of local crafts and products.  The Nature Exchange placement is relevant to any managers and trainers whose work involves managing rich biodiversity, which sits within a cultural landscape which has been scarred by industrial pollution. Participants will see how, in a country with great social and economic problems, nature conservation is like a shining beacon.

 Bulgaria                     13 – 20th May

The Exchange will be hosted by the Stara Planina RTA.  Participants will visit Bulgarian Biodiversity foundation,  Central Balkan National Park, Persina Nature Park on the River Danube, Tsarichina strictly protected reserve and the School for Mountain Guides.  The project will focus on Game management with special reference to Red Deer – Contrasting Bulgaria with Scotland and the UK.  Forestry in the Central Balkan National Park, Protected Areas Management, Ramsar sites and Natura 2000.  Land use in Bulgaria– Contrasting Bulgaria with the UK.

Iceland                        18- 24 June

The visit is hosted by Skalanes Nature and Heritage Centre which has its own 1250 hectare nature reserve. Skálanes main purposes are nature/heritage conservation and research, it is a place where the Icelandic environment and cultural history can be researched and interpreted at the same time as being a model for sustainable tourism.  The program aims to  introduce participants to the natural environment of East Iceland. The focus is on low intensity agriculture and sustainability. Participants will visit the National Forest Service at Hallormsstaður, Vatnajökull national park and Húsey

Slovak Republic        26th May -02 June

The visit will be hosted by Krajina in Eastern Slovakia.  Participants will visit Slovensky Raj National Park (Slovak Paradise) Low Tatras National Park – bear tracking , High Tatras National Park – windstorm area, Slovensky Kras National Park – limestone area. Pieniny and Poloniny National Parks and Hostovické lúky (Iris meadow).  The focus is on Biosphere Reserves, Natura 2000 sites, protected areas and National parks. Brown bears, conservation and conflicts.  Forests and People, community forests and  Environmental Education.

Slovenia                     8th -15th July

The exchange is hosted by Vitra Centre for Sustainable Development in Cerknica.  The focus of the exchange is sustainable land use and develpopment, forestry management and nature based tourism.  Participants will visit the limestone Karst area around Postojna, including Krizna cave and Rakov Skocjan and the protected landscape areas around Cerknica Lake (turlough)  They will visit Kočevski  Rog,  the  country’s finest  uninterrupted expanse  of  forest. It  is home to  all  of Slovenia’s native mammals, including the brown bear, lynx, boar and red deer, as well asbirds such as the capercaillie, and is a regional park that hopes to achieve national status.

France                          10th – 17th September

The exchange will be hosted by the Vosges Grouse Group, “The Association for the Protection of Grouse and their Habitats in the Vosges Mountains”  The focus of the exchange is the status of the Capercaillie in the Vosges mountains and the LIFE project “forests for Capercaillie in the Vosges”.  Participants will visit the Special Protection Areas (Natura 2000) and National Nature Reserves for Capercaillie in Longegoutte and Le Géhant state forests,  Cornimont state forest and the  National Nature Reserve of Ventron.  2 Lacs state forest, Béliure private forest and the National Nature Reserve of Tanet-Gazon du Faing and Haute-Meurthe state forest.   The main topics of the exchange are on conservation and management measures for Capercaillie regarding to forest biodiversity, timber production, leisure activities, tourism, hunting, etc.

  Latvia                          10 – 17th September

his exchange is hosted by the Latvian State Forest Service.  The main topics of the exchange will be:  The challenges of balancing  conservation goals and the interests of private land owners.  Maintaining  bird habitats by grazing; beavers and wetlands.  Conservation policy within the Latvian  NATURA 2000 network with a  focus on the coastal lagoon lakes (Kaņieris).  Forest protection along natural water courses, species richness.  The structure and tasks of the State Forest Service on a National and local basis. Participants will visit Kemeri and Kurzeme National Parks.

The Nature Exchange Programme Nature Exchange has been developed with ARCH’s European partners over the last 9 years.  We provide fully funded study visits for Scottish trainers to visit organisations in other European countries, to exchange best practice and to establish new contacts and partnerships for future cooperation.

These study visits are funded by the Leonardo da Vinci programme; the costs of travel, accommodation and subsistence are covered by the grant.  The projects are open to everyone working in natural heritage, conservation and land management sectors.  The projects aim to develop the skills of Scottish trainers involved in natural heritage, conservation and the environment through a programme of exchanges with partners in other European countries, to exchange best practice and to establish new contacts and partnerships for future cooperation.

This year we have  programmes for Romania, Iceland, Norway, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Bulgaria.  6 people from Scotland will go to each country, spending 7-8 days participating in workshops, site visits, hands-on activities and seminars.  This is intended to be an intellectual exchange – European partners will come to Scotland, but you are not obliged to host them.  Although we do hope to initiate new projects from all of our partners.  Nature Exchange offers wonderful opportunities to network with people doing similar work in Scotland. It’s a great way to fulfil you CPD requirements and personal training plans for 202.  All of our partners welcome input from participants, they are very happy to adjust their itinerary to cover topics that are of specific interest to Scottish practitioners.

If you would like more information, and an application form please e mail me or ring me at the number below, or download a Nature Exchange application form from the web page.

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