A new interesting activity related to the conservation of biodiversity and forest habitats gathered the young people from the FOREST project. On 23-25.10.2020 they visited two fabulously beautiful places – the Nature Park ‘Pastures of Haeven’, close to Osikovitsa village and the beech forests around the Etropole Monastery, to get acquainted with a number of valuable plant species and to help restore their populations. With the help of experts, scientists and lecturers in botany, genetics and forestry, the young people gained important knowledge about the main national and European regulations related to the conservation status of plants and their useful functions and properties (environmental, forestry, medicinal, honey, etc.). Participants in the FOREST project learned what are the methods for preserving genetic diversity such as (ex situ, in situ, etc.). In the field, under the guidance of experts, they identified 10 of the most valuable plant species and managed to increase the populations of 7 of them by more than 300%, using planting material from other localities of these species in which their numbers are higher. In parallel with the planting of the bulbs and rhizomes, the young people identified potential risks and threats to the populations of the species, marked the locations of the populations with plates and took their coordinates, and subsequently prepared maps of the valuable species in the region of Etropole Monastery and ‘Pastures of Haeven’. Below we present a list of valuable plants for the protection of which the young people from FOREST helped: ‘Pastures of heaven’, Osikovitsa village:
The activities of the young people from the FOREST project related to the identification of wild plants and their habitats continued last week (October 2-4, 2020). This time their attention was focused on collecting materials from tree and shrub species from the forests of the Etropole Stara Planina and the Heavenly Pastures Park, Osikovitsa village. Under the guidance of experts from BAS and Sofia University, our young people managed to find over 75 different species.
After a break due to the pandemic situation, the project “For everyone saved a tree” (FOREST) resumed its activities and as an autumn crocus blossomed cheerfully in late September with the smiles of Serbian and Bulgarian youth…Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale)… Brownray knapweed (Centaurea jacea)… Maidenhair spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes), Common liverwort (Marchantia polymorpba)… this is only part of the autumn aspect of the flowering herbaceous plants, ferns and mosses which the youngsters from Botevgrad and Nis had to collect from their local mountains and to prepare from them herbarium materials. In the period September 25-27, 2020, the Serbian youth visited the mountainous areas near the town of Niska Banya, famous for its healing water, while their Bulgarian peers wandered the paths full of spiritual energy around the Etropole monastery “St. Trinity ”and the captivating as a picture of Juan Miró park “The Sky pastures” near the village of Osikovitsa.
On the 20th
of February, 2020 in Forest Research Institute was held an educational course
for the Institute’s employees for working with the Joint Database on the
project “For everyone saved a tree” (FOREST), co-funded by the European Union
through the Interreg-IPA Bulgaria-Serbia Cross-Border Cooperation Program
2014-2020. The course contained three modules: