Description: The aim of this camp organized in cooperation with the Estonian Fund for Nature (ELF) is Ohepalu Mire Restoration.ELF s conservation work camps project, which is carried out from 1998, has two main goals. One is to carry out conservation work in nature parks and protected areas and second is to bring people closer to nature, to promote environment-friendly and sustainable lifestyle. International conservation work camps are important part of ELF s conservation holidays project. In international work camps ELF always involves local people to work alongside participants from other countries. The benefits in understanding, education and shared cultures can be great and the experience remembered by all. Also, this kind of conservation works helps to raise awareness of local people about values of local nature and importance of centuries old traditional land management.Wetlands can be seen as the most valuable types of landscape, taking into account the environmental services given by the landscape to the society, such as carbon cycle, climate regulation etc. Estonia is almost entirely surrounded by wetlands and its mainland is covered with mires and their remnants - peat bogs (totaling 22.3 of the mainland). Due to agricultural drainage that started already on the 19th and picked up in the 20th century, the surface area of mires has severely decreased and now covers only 5.5 of mainland. During the last 10 years, ELF has compiled recovery plans for several mires. In 2014, an application was submitted to the European Commissions LIFE Program based on these activities, aiming to help restore approximately 6000 hectares of mires. Main reason of the wetland degradation at the project sites is drainage: it directs and enchants water flow out of the wetlands. Closing off the drainage network is necessary for any kind of wetland restoration. To restore the habitats hydrology, the most used method will be continuous infilling of ditches with peat from adjacent areas. In addition, supporting dams may be used, especially in areas with steeper slopes and stronger/larger water flows. Peat dams will be used where possible as on-site, natural material is available and those dams can be quickly built by excavator. Manual work will be applied only in the places that are not accessible by the excavator. For example, wooden dams will be built by hand if peat of sufficient volume or quality is not available on site. Volunteers are involved into dam building activities in remote areas and in the case of small ditches.
Type of Work: The mire conservation camp in Ohepalu mire will be about helping the mire to recover their water regime, to restore the parts of bogs that have been damaged by drainage. The work will be building peat dams for the ditches, which were made to drain the wetlands. The work consists mostly of cutting out peat blocks with shovels and after closing the water in the ditches, carrying the peat blocks to the ditch and forming dams to stop the water. Typical working hours are 6 hours per day (for example: 9 -12 and 13-16).
Accommodation: Simple shared accommodation in Vohnja Elementary School on your mattresses. Volunteers need their own sleeping bag and sleeping mattress. All food is included except lunch on days for traveling. Breakfast is made for us, we will cook our own lunch and dinners (ingredients are provided) most of the time.
Requirements: Special requirementsYou have to bring working clothes, warm clothes as nights can be rather chilly, wet weather clothing, summer clothes as days might be hot as well, wellingtons, sleeping bag and sleeping mattress, swimwear, towel, insect spray. Necessary tools and cloves provided by ELF.Participation fee You are kindly asked to contribute 100 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.
Approximate Location: Location and other informationEstonian nature - http://www.estonica.org/en/Nature/ ELF about wetlands: http://elfond.ee/what-we-do/wetlands ELF about mire restoration: https://soo.elfond.ee/en/tegevused/taastamistood ELF conservation holidays - http://talgud.ee Leisure timeThere will be 2 days off which will be spent on exploring of the nearby towns and places of interest, like Rakvere, the main city of the region https://www.visitestonia.com/en/where-to-go/north-estonia/rakvere In the evenings of the working days - sauna, campfires, hiking, etc. will be organized.