In June 2021 a whole week event took place in Jõhvi Gymnasium. Group of 12 students were taking part in a workshop called “Nature management and conservation workshop”.
Workshop included reading and writing tasks, birdwatching in a local town park (not far from school and also under conservation) and fieldwork in the Alutaguse Nature Reserve.
Let's start from the beginning:
1. First day was an introduction to the workshop. We stayed indoors and learned about aims and objectives. Also researched about alutaguse Nature Reserve and Jane Goodall Institute.
Picture 1: Brainstorm and info search about Alutaguse Nature Reserve
2. Second day we visited our local park which is also a landscape protection area
Picture 2: Jõhvi Park and Alley Landscape Protection Area
Jõhvi Park has a long history being part of the Jõhvi Manor, which unfortunately was bombed in World War II. However, the park and alley itself survived, and since 1960 and protects more than 40 ha of landscape and old small-leaved lime trees (Tilia cordata), which were planted when Manor was still in its glory. Park has been divided in two: the old part (part of the Manor) and the new part (used to be forest). Old part is important because some protected bird species are nesting like the Middle spotted woodpecker (Dendrocoptes medius).
3. Third day we visited Iisaku, a village, where the Alutaguse Nature Reserve headquarters are stiuated. The Alutaguse Nature Reserve (https://kaitsealad.ee/en/protected-areas/alutaguse-national-park/about-national-park-3link opens on new page) is maintained by the Environmental Board of Republic of Estonia. Therefore, our guide was from the Environmental Board of Republic of Estonia. We were hiking in Tärivere Hill in Iisaku.
Picture 3: Walking up to Tärivere Hill
On our hike we studied the importance of protecting species and also are these species our food or poison (Picture 4: fieldwork in the Alutaguse Nature Park, Tärivere Hill). We saw one of the Estonian nature pearls: Lady's-slipperlink opens on new page orchid (Cypripedium calceolus).
Picture 5: Lady's-slipperlink opens on new page orchid blooming in Tähivere Hill
We were also lucky to see Esser spotted woodpecker (Dryobates minor) feeding his chick andon th same tree the nest of the Siberian flying squirrel (Pteromys volans). In the Alutaguse Nature Reserve headquarters we studied bugs we caught (Pictures 6-10).
Fieldwork wasn't only work but also some fun.
Picture 11: Having a break estonian way
4. Fourth day was all about bugs. We were building a bug hotel.
Picture 12-14: Building a bug hotel
As we learned, each creature is important and has its own role in the ecosystem. Unfortunately, lately new projects like building a new high school, new secondary school, new stone walkway and new stadium have created an artificial environment around our school. Because of the construction works many trees were taken down and we lost the town bird's habitat around our schools. So bugs in the town environment are a good way to start building up a richness of the town ecosystem and bring back birds to our region. Previous project gave our school a flower garden which is now part of the school roof terrace. Now each flower bed has a bug hotel to support biodiversity in our school region.
Pictures 15-17: Bug hotels in our school roof terrace.
5. Finally the last day. We created videos for other students to understand why biodiversity is so important. Also we would like to encourage other students to think about the environment and its importance in our lives.