International camp: mire restoration at North-East Estonia (Feodori)

09. august - 12. august 2021

North-Eastern Estonia is a region of contrasts. It is the largest industrial (oil shale) region of Estonia, spiked with underground mines and ruined landscapes. Nevertheless, 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-Eastern Estonia has an interesting combination of industrial mining towns from the Soviet era, small villages along the coast of Lake Peipus, and endless wilderness.

Our target mire is called Feodorisoo and it is located in Alutaguse National Park. Mires are the most ancient landscapes in Estonia and irreplaceable ecosystems that provide habitats for various bird and plant species and regulate carbon storage. Thus, we need to fix the mistakes our predecessors made. Modern industry, forestry, 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 the paramount activity for wetland restoration.

The worksites are in the middle of the mire and thus not accessible by car. The volunteers will have to walk about 1-2 km to the sites, whilst carrying all the work equipment. Our main tools at the worksites will be shovels, which we use to dig peat for building the dams. Loaves of peat will be handed from person to person from the digging site to the ditch until the dam's proper width and height 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.

The restoration work in the mire is muddy and will probably make Your clothes dirty. Also, rubber boots are a must! Otherwise, Your feet will get wet. The gloves and necessary tools for work will be provided by Estonian Fund for Nature. The group leader will give You more information about what items You should bring along one month before the camp.

It is possible to elongate Your stay, by participating in two international camps at Feodori in a row: August 9-12 and 13-16.

Project "Conservation and Restoration of Mire Habitats" (LIFE Mires Estonia; project no: LIFE14 NAT/EE/000126) is implemented with the contribution of the  LIFE financial instrument of the European Community

Piirissaare mudakonnatalgud Abruka rüditalgud II