FFWS students visited southern Europe

The Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences organized the Summer School for bachelor, master and Ph.D. students from 7th to 14th October 2018. The goal of the Summer School was to introduce students to different types of forest stands in Slovenia and Croatia, to complete their theoretical knowledge with practical experience.

South-European countries Slovenia and Croatia have been chosen specifically because of the diversity of the countryside, offering a wide range of fir-beech forest stands in the Alpine regions of Slovenia to Mediterranean deciduous and black pine forests on the Adriatic coast.

The road to Slovenia was interrupted by a short stop in the Austrian village of Mendlingtal, where an open-air museum was established, presenting visitors with the historical way of rafting and the activity of hammers or mills. The program in Slovenia started in the northeastern part of the country in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, where students had the opportunity to visit local forest farms and learn about selective forest management. The peak of a visit to northern Slovenia was a stop in the Logar Valley, one of the most beautiful Alpine glacial valleys in Europe.

Slovenian concepts of practical forest management, forestry science, or game management practices were presented to the students through series of short lectures at the Faculty of Biotechnology of the University of Ljubljana, which closer cooperation was established. Two days were dedicated to a visit in Croatia, where students had the opportunity to get acquainted with the changing composition of Croatian forests from the coast to the highest peaks of the Velebit Mountain. The most remote destination was Plitvice Lakes National Park, whose cascade of crystal water bodies with countless waterfalls represented for many the most beautiful place of the event.

On the way back, a stop in the Slovenian Kočevje area was included to the program, where participants in the local museum learned not only about the harsh history of the area, but also about the specific natural conditions that have affected the life of local people for centuries. The trip was completed by visiting the Kočevje virgin forest, the largest virgin forest in Slovenia.

In addition to the official program, the Summer School had added value for students in learning about different cultures, communicating in a foreign language, or spreading the general overview. The Summer School was organized within the project MOST (Modernization of study and study programs, quality and counselling at CULS in Prague, Reg. No.: CZ.02.2.69/0.0/0.0/16_015/0002386), which is funded by the European Structural and Investment Funds.

Martin Čabrada

Karel Kuželka