Waldviertel, Lower Austria
This workcamp was held in collaboration with Naturschutzbund NÖ and lasted only for a weekend and therefore was one of the shortest SCI-Camps. So most of the participants where coming from countries not too far away from Austria, e.g. from Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia. It also allowed workers to come, who might not have had time for longer camps.
After meeting at the train stations in Gmünd and Ceske Velenice we drove to Naturpark Heidenreichstein, where we got welcomed and introduced to the local guides and volunteers from other organisations. Then we all made our way into the forest to get to the bog. It was a cold day and mist was covering the area. While wearing rubber boots and several layers of clothes we started to take young pine trees out of a certain part of the bog. Little pines we could just pull from the ground, slightly larger ones we cut. This is mainly necessary because under the current climatic conditions it is natural that trees will grow and forest will be dominant in a few years. And this part is intended to be used for visitors of the park to see the typical vegetation, namely mosses and shrubs.
Due to the manual work we felt warm and by working in a big team we progressed quickly. In the afternoon we got a tour in the park and experts showed us special plants and trees and explained the importance of bogs in nature conservation as they can store high amounts of carbon.
We spent the evening in a restaurant enjoying Austrian cuisine, having nice conversations and playing cards. Soon we were tired and went to sleep in the village’s community centre, where we put our sleeping bags in the theatre hall.
On the next day we repeated our work in another bog nearby our accommodation in Amaliendorf and got some Gulasch and lots of homemade cakes for lunch. Sadly the day was short and we needed to say our goodbyes soon.
By Anja Manoutschehri