Feel Good at Talgud: Practical Nature Conservation, Estonia

Estonian Fund for Nature (SA Eestimaa Looduse Fond; stands for the preservation of natural diversity. It keeps an eye on the Estonian government in their processes of drawing up environmental regulations and of compiling development plans, participates in and convenes with different parties to plan discussions, restores damaged areas, and advises on sustainable management practices.

In Estonian, ‘Talgud’ describes unpaid, large-scale physical work carried out in groups, which ELF has successfully implemented through its conservation camps with volunteers for 21 years. This project aims to involve 100-150 volunteers over 10 camps at 5 island and mainland locations popular with hikers and kayakers to protect endangered Estonian flora and fauna. Working in semi-natural habitats, brushwood and invasive species will be removed to restore open landscapes. Brushwood will be removed from the coastal areas of Ruhnu and Rammu islands, providing feeding space in coastal meadows for the baltic dunlin and, pines, left over from the Soviet Union’s reforestation campaign of the 1980s will be removed on Rammu Island to protect black crowberry moor, which only grows on a few North Estonian islands. Cowpens will be built on Osmussaar island to ensure appropriate grazing on alvars and protect wild orchid habitat . Finally, brushwood will be removed from the banks of Lusika and Piiruoja creeks to help black storks gain access to feeding sites whilst nesting.

The Update

With thanks to EOCA member Nikwax Germany which has generously raised funds for this project through its Green Friday promotion 2022.