Biodiversity in Zitkova - teen
Description: The workcamp takes place in the Nature reserve Hute, in the meadows of White Carpathian Mountains in cooperation with the environmental NGO Brontosaurus Maratice. The local meadows are unique by their biodiversity and their origin is related to man’s activities. A regular cutting of the meadows enables even weaker plants to grow which means we can find up to 80 species in one square meter. Therefore, every summer in the last 25 years, volunteers from Brontosaurus Maratice have been coming for annual haymaking using the forgotten skills of our ancestors (manual scything). The process is supervised by botanists from the Masaryk University in Brno. The aim of the workcamp is to continue with the haymaking, learn how to use scythe and connect young people interested in nature.
Type of Work: The tasks are manual and range from less physically demanding jobs to harder ones. You will be involved in the haymaking in the meadows, maintenance of the reserve (cutting wood, protecting young trees, etc.) and the campsite. During haymaking, those who cut the grass have to wake up very early and work until the dew gets dry. Then, the grass has to be returned with rakes, loaded on a car (using pitchfork) and transported to farmers. It’s recommended to wear solid shoes, long sleeves, pants to avoid scratches from the hay and a hat to be protected from sun. The meadows can be very wet so bring waterproof working shoes (or rubber boots) and rain-gear. Be aware that scythe is a dangerous tool and has to be handled cautiously (there will be a technical supervisor to teach you).
Study Theme: Lectures with experts on the protection of endangered fauna, meeting local farmers and craftsmen, getting to know local history and myths (the so called “Goddesses of Zitkova”). It will be possible to organize international evening - cook some traditional food from your countries, etc.
Accommodation: In tents. At the campsite there is also on old barn that is used as a kitchen, dining and common room. The nights can be very cold so bring a warm sleeping bag, sleeping mat and warm clothes.You will wash yourself in a cold stream next to the campsite and you’ll use dry toilets.You will have meals 5 times a day (vegetarian diet is possible but let us know) – you will be asked to help with cooking.
Requirements: The camp is suitable for volunteers who are not afraid of living and working in rougher conditions in close contact with nature. It is not recommended to people allergic to grasses (hay fever), wasp or bee stings. Parental authorization and medical form is strictly required for underage volunteers! The forms will be provided after the acceptance to the workcamp.
Approximate Location: Natural reserve Hute in White Carpathian Mountains close to Zitkova village (170 inhabitants), South-East Moravia. The campsite is remote, located 2 km from the village and bus station. There is no wi-fi and the mobile signal is scarce.
Notes: The group will be composed of 10 foreign and 10 Czech volunteers in the age range of 15-20.
Leisure time: Outdoor activities, group games, creative workshops. Some activities will be organized and some will be up to you. The area is very nice for hiking and it’s also possible to go swimming in the nearby pond (2 km). If you play any musical instrument, you are welcome to bring it with you!
What to bring: warm sleeping bag, mat, solid boots, raincoat, hat, warm clothes (the weather in the mountainous locations is colder especially during the night), torch (other instructions will be provided in the infosheet).
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