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2016-07-01
Participation in Boreal seminar follow-up “Restoration of fens habitats
The field trip-seminar was organized by the Estonian Ministry of the Environment, Environmental Board and LIFE SPRINGDAY LIFE12 NAT/EE/000860) and held in several locations in North and West Estonia.
 
During the trip, several alkaline fens and spring fens were visited (Paraspõllu, Valgeraba, Tuhu, Viidumäe Nature Reserve petrifying springs and fens, Avaste fen etc.) and applied or potentially applicable restoration methods discussed. A fruitful part of the seminar was informal discussions among representatives of different Nordic and Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, totally ca. 30 particiants), which helped to exchange different opinions and to think how different can fen situations be.
Most probably, there is no single solution for fens in general, each situation must be evaluated seperately. Different countries have different situations in their rural areas, e. g. perhaps a shrub removal and ditch blocking is sufficient in most of Estonian and Latvian fens, whereas due to eutrophication and other additional impacts it is not enough in more inhabitated and human-altered landscape in other countries countries, e. g. Denmark and Sweden, where regular mowing and grazing in fens is necessary.
 
During the seminar, Marika Kose, a teacher, restoration practitioner and land manager, gave an impressive presentation on coastal meadow management in Estonia and her personal experiences in practical management in relation to the historical background of the sites. During the second seminar day, Madis Metsur and Mari Reitalu introduced the participants to the LIFE SPRINGDAY project sites. Mati Ilomets (Tallinn University) introduced to a recently done large scale restoration in Endla Reserve (Estonia), so far the largest tree removal in Estonia (ca. 600 ha) in the Baltic countries.
Overall, the seminar and the discussions are applicable in creating the last edition of the mire restoration guidelines by NAT-PROGRAMME and for developing certain solutions for similar sites in Latvia to be included in the management and conservation programme for Natura 2000 in Latvia. Numerous photos potentially useful for the mire and grassland restoration book were taken.