Between August 31st and September 9th we participated in another international volunteer camp. The first half took place in Pivarootsi near Virtsu, the second on Vormsi island. In both camps we had to clear an area of junipers and other bushes. Like the other international camps this was also spent in good mood. Meeting different people from all around the globe is always an exciting experience.
After work and between camps we also had time to hike in the forest, enjoy a beautiful view on a watchtower in Matsalu Bay, visit the town of Lihula and Haapsalu. And of course in the evenings there was always sauna, which is an inevitable part of a long workday.
Vormsi is an interesting small island between the mainland and Hiiumaa. For centuries Swedish families were living here which you can still capture in the names of the settlements on Vormsi. We visited the local chapel, it’s basetones dates back ancient times. Next to the chapel there’s the local cemetery with crosses like on the pictures which is now the symbol of the island. On our free day we made some face and hair painting with the blueberry that we found in the forest.
Between 6th and 16th of August we participated in our second 10-days international camp. In the first half we stayed in Pudisoo, Lahemaa National Park to continue our conservational work in Pudisoo river to restore the natural habitat for freshwater pearlmussel (Margaritifera margaritifera). After spending 5 days in Lahemaa NP, we took a boat from Dirham port to Osmussare island.
The island located in north-west Estonia, 6 km from the mainland, in the entrance of the Gulf of Finland. According to legends the viking chief god, Odin is buried here.
The island like other parts of West-Estonia had Swedish population in the previous centuries. Before the Second World War seven Swedish families lived on the island who then fled to their home country. The island location also attracted the military: you can still find and explore abandoned soviet artillery bases and military bunkers on the shore.
Our work was clearing the area of junipers and burn the piles that the previous group left. In the afternoons we had a special task: to gather the sheep together that wander freely around on the island. At first it was quite tricky because some of them run into the woods and we had to find them again. After getting some experience we managed very well to gather them in one place.