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EST ELF 04 ESTONIA Alutaguse ENVI 09/08/2021 16/08/2021

EST ELF 04             Mire restoration              Alutaguse                               09.08 – 16.08                      ENVI                        7 int + 7 loc 

 

Project

Estonian Fund for Nature (ELF) is NGO dedicated to nature conservation. Its mission is to preserve endangered species and their habitats, natural landscapes and natural associations typical of Estonia. ELF has organized yearly nature conservation holidays where volunteers, participants and group managers work together in order to improve the living conditions of a certain species (i.e. natter jack toad, black stork) or maintain semi-natural communities. You can read more on http://elfond.ee/en and see photos of volunteering camps 2019 and 2020: http://www.talgud.ee/galerii/2019  , http://www.talgud.ee/galerii/2020

 

The aim of this camp is restoration of mire of Feodori in North-East Estonia.  Wetlands and mires are irreplaceable eco-systems providing habitats for a variety of bird and plant species as well as regulate carbon storage. Modern industry and agriculture have exposed mires to drainage, which directs and enhances water flow out of the mire thus degrading the ecosystem. Closing off the drainage network is paramount for wetland restoration. The work in Feodori mire will be building dams out of peat blocks.

 

North-East Estonia is a region of contrast. Itis the largest industrial (oil shale) region of Estonia spiked with underground mines and ruined landscapes. However, it is also the home to Alutaguse, which is the largest forestry region, and the newest National Park of Estonia. Furthermore, Alutaguse is the last refuge to the Estonian population of the Syberian flying squirrel (Pteromys volans). North-East Estonia has an interesting combination of industrial mining towns from the Soviet era, small villages along the coast of Lake Peipus, and endless wilderness.

 

 

Work 

The worksites are in the middle of the mire and thus not accessible with a car. Volunteers will have to walk about 1-2 km to the sites, whilst carrying the work equipment. Our main tools at the work sites will be shovels, which we use to dig peat for building the dam. Loaves of peat will behanded from person to person from the digging site to the ditch until a proper width and height of the dam have been achieved. Note that there will be some heavy lifting, as loaves of peat are full of water and thus weighty. The work is physically demanding but completely doable for people with average physique and stamina. A typical workday will last for 6 hours. 

The restoration work in the mire is muddy and will probably make your clothes dirty. Rubber boots are a must! Otherwise, your feet will get quickly wet. The gloves and necessary tools for work will be provided by ELF. 

 

Accommodation

Simple accommodation in beds in a local school dormitory at Illuka. Showers and kitchen are available. One evening will be reserved for sauna. We will be cooking our own food throughout the camp. The Estonian group leader will compile the menu and buy the groceries.

 

Itineraries

 

Special requirements

You have to bring working clothes, warm clothes as nights can be chilly, wellingtons, wet weather clothing, rubber boots, summer clothes as days might be hot, sleeping bag and sleeping mattress, a bowl (lunch on workdays will be in the mire) swimwear, towel, insect spray. 

 

Leisure time

Board games, sauna, swimming, hiking and exploring the local surroundings, etc. 

 

Participation fee 

You are kindly asked to contribute 140 Euro towards cost of board, lodging, programme, administration and for nature! This fee has to be paid by volunteers either by bank transfer before the beginning of the camp or to the host upon arrival to the camp.