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Outdoor Survival & Wildlife Education at National Park Risnjak

(photo: National Park Risnjak)

British adventurers, Woodland Ways, delighted with outdoor survival course at National Park Risnjak, in Croatia’s Gorski Kotar region.

Crni Lug – For the third year running, Woodland Ways nature enthusiasts are here to continue their wildlife education. From their base at Crni Lug they organise outdoor survival activities, animal tracking and observation programmes in close co-operation with the rangers at National Park Risnjak. Several groups visit each year mainly during spring and autumn. Many of their members are returning visitors.

The “Winter wilderness wildlife tracking & film” this February was designed to teach and film snow survival techniques and animal tracking activities. The group of six people, two female and four male experienced remote living environment without electricity, tap water, Wi-Fi and far from human settlement.

Equipped with snowshoes and other necessary winter equipment, the group climbed snowy Risnjak peak at 1528m.The stunning film footage is produced by Andeer Brogaard, experienced photographer and filmmaker from Wild Earth Productions Ltd. The footage has been donated to the national park Risnjak as promotional material.

“The group spent four days in the remote wilderness without electricity and other benefits of civilization. We used wood to make fire and melted snow to get water, we ate dry food and spent time outside observing and learning about wildlife in the winter conditions with our knowledgeable and helpful ranger/guide Miroslav Janes.

We found traces of wild cat, wolves, bears, squirrels and deer, the overall experience was truly amazing, making this a very successful trip.The most interesting and exciting discovery was finding the parts of fresh deer carcass killed by wolves. In the snow we could clearly see the traces and picture out what happened, where wolves were awaiting and what their hunt looked like, which was extraordinary experience indeed and we will return again next February, said Jason Ingamell the leader of Woodland Ways winter expedition.

The snowfall of approximately twenty centimetres is far from what Gorski Kotar mountains in February can offer, but with low temperatures it was certainly a great treat and a perfect setting for the winter survival. Winter survival preparation by Jason included handmade snowshoes, mittens and a fur hood.

Woodland Ways next visit is scheduled for April 2017 when two larger groups are arriving to to track wolf, bear lynx and observe wildlife. The group is also interested in monitoring local owl population. The collaboration between Woodland Ways and NP Risnjak consists of sharing any findings for scientific, conservational and promotional purposes.

Woodland Ways – The Conservationists

“It is a real pleasure to continue to collaborate and support Woodland Ways and NP Risnjak co-operation. These people are true nature friends with great experience and knowledge, we both share an important interest of preservation”, says Silvija Barbaric, head of marketing at NP Risnjak.

EU Projects

Our colleagues from Woodland Ways Kevan Palmer and Jason Ingamells donated recordings of wildlife on their very first arrival and proposed such future cooperation which is very valuable indeed, as such we can use the findings to apply for specific EU projects.

The collaboration is also extremely valuable for our rangers who collaborate with Woodland Ways and they can mutually exchange knowledge and learning. Ranger Miro has particularly good relationship with the group and we are all looking forward to their next visit, said Silvija Barbaric.

The February 2017 “Winter wilderness wildlife tracking & film” expedition consisted of leader Jason Ingamels, also the director of Woodland Ways, cameraman and photographer Anders Brogaard from Denmark, Peter Kent, Helen Hampton, Chris Saunders and Haley Woor. Most of them are interested visitng Crni Lug and NP Risnjak again in the future.

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