Scouts from Belgium also helped to harvest the green mulch on Vogar, and volunteered their time to help clean up Bohinj. Even though it was the first time some of them had ever seen a pitchfork and a rake, they did a great job, say our colleagues. "We used the mulch as a cover and as a source of seed material in the empty areas on Uskovnica mountain," describes our colleague, Mag. Tanja Menegalija from the Nature Conservation Department. The LIFE FOR SEEDS project is co-financed by the European Union LIFE Programme, the Sigrid Rausing Trust and the Ministry of Public Administration.
The campers were visited by journalists
The Belgian campers, who were staying and helping with the landscaping in Bohinj, were also visited by some journalists last week in Stara Fužina. They told them that for many of them it was their first visit to Slovenia. They were most impressed by the water they saw flowing down the riverbeds or rippling in the lakes, and they could not hide their enthusiasm for the water from the water supply system, which is easy to drink without any prior purification procedures. They also loved the views from heights, which they are not used to from their home towns. Since they were volunteering in the Bohinj area for four hours a day, they had plenty of time to get to know the place and its surroundings.
Last week, 48 Belgian campers helped to clean up the area around Bohinj, and around 20 more will roll up their sleeves next week. All of them are from Belgium and all of them arrange to volunteer and stay in Bohinj through the Scout Association of Slovenia. The Municipality of Bohinj, Tourism Bohinj and the Triglav National Park (JZ TNP) have also joined forces to programme their work and other activities, explains our colleague Ana Marija Kunstelj, head of the TNP Bohinj Centre, which coordinates their work.
Valuable help after the storm
"They helped with hay harvesting, mowing at Vogar, weeding fields in the village of Savica, picking up rubbish along the shore of Lake Bohinj,... After the storm that hit Bohinj last week, they were a great help in documenting the situation and removing large branches from the paths," describes Ana Marija Kunstelj. She adds that volunteering in national parks is important because it shows by example what can be done on a voluntary basis. But, she says, there is still a lot of room for development here.