2016 Diary

March and April:  Dry-stone walling at Lillington, nr Sherborne. 

Dry-stone walling weekend at Lillington (Sherborne) March 5th and 6th 2016

Dry-stone walling weekend at Lillington (Sherborne) March 5th and 6th 2016

20160409_164542 (800x600)After we had finished

March 17th – 20th Sustainable Forestry Workshop, Somerset. A conference based in Somerset organised jointly by EuCAN and Forum Synergies. This link provides a programme for the conference, further information about sustainable forestry and the registration form for the conference. Attendance at the conference was free with funding to contribute up to 50% of travel and other expenses on a discretionary basis. There were delegates from the UK, Sweden, Austria, France, Albania and Hungary. See here.

June 4th – 15th Conservation working holiday to Estonia A group of 15 volunteers travelled to Estonia to work with the Estonia Fund for Nature on surveying the Capercaillie populations in the Altaguse Forest area in the northeast of the country.  Map . Clich here for a report.

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June, July and August: Contract in the Axe River Catchment area to control the invasive Himalayan Balsam along the watercourses and in the adjacent damp pastures.


Saturday 2nd – Monday 4th July Residential weekend and AGM at the Knepp Re-wilding Project, West Sussex This was a weekend camp in the Estate campsite, with a guided tour of the rewilding project on the Sunday, moth trapping, a walk with Matthew Oates on Monday to look at the Purple Emperors, possibly the highest population in the UK  and more….For the programme, click here.  The company AGM was held on Monday July 4th . To see photos from previous residential AGM weekends, for Springhead 2014, click here, and for Cerne Abbas 2013 here.

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Knepp Longhorns

Copy of EUCAN Springhead Weekend 19-7-14 Joe Middleton (5)

Moth trap analysis at Springhead (North Dorset) 2014.

August 6th – 16th  Hay-making camp and scrub clearance project in Gyimes in Romania. 8 EuCAN volunteers travelled out to Transylvania for this adventure. It is a magical area with a very rich fauna and flora that survive thanks to the traditional methods of agriculture that are still widely used there. Go to this link for further information about the camp and the area and click here to find out about the successful EuCAN visit to Transylvania in 2011. There is also a wonderful YouTube film showing how the hay is brought down to the farmsteads in the winter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6B2nSXFCRY

Click here to find out more and here to see the photo collection.

March 2017: we are also helping Attila in Gyimes to raise funds to complete the roof of his new ‘LifeSchool’ in the village – click here for the background information and how to make a donation.

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Romanian scythe circle Gyimes 2012

Romanian scythe circle Gyimes 2012

August 30th – September 13th : Visit to the Bird-ringing camp in Croatia.  Trevor Phelps organised a group to travel to Croatia to join in and also to help with habitat improvement in the area. Click here for more detail about this. And click to read his 2015 report about the adventure.Croatia Bird ringing camp Report 2015 and the 2016 report produced by the Croatian host organisation BIOM.



August, September and into the autumn: we continued with our habitat management contracts in Dorset and Somerset with trainees, volunteers and qualified self-employed sub-contractors using brushcutters and chainsaws. Contact us if you are interested in being involved in this work in the future.

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Ukraine Oct 2016 Discovering Ukrainian Rural Reality EuCAN director Gwil Wren attended this workshop in western Ukraine at the beginning of October 2016 and what an eye opener! His comments are here: Gwil reflections

The programme for the workshop is here: prog_logisticLifeshop_ukraine2016 new

Opera House2

Gwil describes the city of Lviv (formerly Polish Lvov) as ‘ lovely and pretty much untouched since the 1930s’ ‘A highlight of the Ukraine trip and well worth a visit.’ To see his photos, click here.

Western Serbia November 10th – 13th 2016  Following the success of the first workshop in Somerset earlier this year, which attracted 38 delegates from 9 countries,  Forum Synergies in partnership with Ibar held the second workshop in Western Serbia November 10th – 13th 2016. To read the report from the first workshop, click here.

Serbia Country5


The programme for the workshop is here: FINAL 2nd Forestry WS programme 16_11_08
The main objectives were to discuss and define main recommendations about
    1.the condition of forests in the Balkan region and the policies and actions needed to achieve sustainable forest management in that region.
    2.the development of small forests managed by private owners (with special attention on existed experience in ex-Yugoslavia, ex-socialist countries from East and Central Europe and EU countries),
    3.sustainable forest management in protected areas and
    4.sustainable development of mountain communities based on forestry and activities linked to forests.
    5.to produce a report on the workshop proceedings, in a form which builds upon and complements the report on the first workshop, with recommendations for policy and action.
International buffet
Click here for photos taken by Gwil Wren during this visit.

Monday November 21st – Wednesday November 30th: Conservation working holiday to La Brenne, central France: we returned with a group of 12 EuCAN volunteers for another week with our friends and partners in La Brenne – go to this link for more information and here for a news report about the visit.