Croatia - Kopački Rit Nature Park
Sweden - for dragonflies?
Portugal - Alvao Natural Park
Wales - the Great Orme
Chamois - life on the edge
Keeping a record - so you don’t forget
Index to all articles in issues 1 -6
Twenty-five years ago I was travelling through the Balkans, and listening to news reports of candle-lit vigils in Wenceslas Square and other eastern block cities. I met a group of Hungarian birdwatchers who had an East German ornithologist with them. He was the first in his state to have been given a travel permit to study birds outside East Germany.
Back in Britain a few weeks later, I watched the Berlin wall come down on TV. How things have changed since then. Places in those eastern countries are now so much more accessible. The closest I could get on that trip was Kopački Rit in Croatia.
But the news is not all good. I was saddened to read about birds being “slaughtered” on wetlands in Albania. Why has this happened? Because the ordinary people suddenly had access to guns and activities such as hunting that had previously been the preserve of the rich. So they were taking advantage. Shades of the French Revolution.
How to change this? If the wildlife and countryside has no economic value to “outsiders” then why should the locals care about anything more than getting whatever food they can from it.
We need to visit places in these countries, and show that it has as much value as the exotic resorts on other continents.