Interpretative Trails on the Ground - Support to the Management of Natural Protected Areas in the Black Sea Region – InterTrails 13 – 15 September 2013 Varna, Bulgaria Example of interpretative stories. Angelica Iosif, Project assistant Mare Nostrum NGO.
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Interpretative Trails on the Ground - Support to the Management of Natural Protected Areas in the Black Sea Region – InterTrails13 – 15 September 2013Varna, BulgariaExample of interpretative stories
Mare Nostrum NGO
The oak – the silent witness of the woods
The past engraved in stones
Dobruja in a couple of steps
The story of a blade of grass
“The oak – the silent witness of the woods” tells the story of a fascinating woodland as seen by an oak (Quercus pedunculiflora) that has reached the venerable age of 100 years.
A long time ago, when the Oak was still young, with straight branches and smooth bark, it received a gift from the daughters of the Year: it turns green in spring, it provides shade in the summer, it turns copper in autumn and gives warmth in winter.
Happy with its precious gift, the selfless Oak has invited his friends come over in every season and helps them as best he can: the birds nestle in his branches, squirrels feed on his acorns, the insects on the soil live beneath his fallen leaves and he provides shelter for many creatures.
So, the woodlandcitizens decided that the Oak would be the new king of the woods, and so it was. Peace descended on the Woodland Realm, and the Oak lived happily ever after with his friends as the Turkey oak (Quercus cerris), or the downy oak (Quercus pubescens), etc.
The oak’s impressive foliage provides shelter against the rain, the wind and the predators for over 1200 species of colourful butterflies, as well as for the familiar spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca ibera, a protected species), which hides beneath its shell when threatened.
Other reptiles enjoy the shade of the ancient tree, as well: the Caspian whipsnake (Coluber jugularis caspius) and the fierce viper subspecies Vipera ammodytes montadoni, which does not appreciate being disturbed.
The impressive limestone walls are home to a variety of birds, providing them with suitable nesting places to raise their chicks. (the beautiful greater spotted eagle (Aquila clanga),the long-legged buzzard (Buteo rufinus), the Montagu’s harrier (Circus pygargus), etc.
The ancient trees provide shelter not only to the local wildlife, but also to the people, according to legend. A playful bat reveals the hidden cave known as Peştera Fetei (the Maid’s Cave).”It all started when the Turkish people invaded Dobruja, so as not to be caught by the thieves who were raiding the villages, looting and taking the girls captive; to avoid getting harmed, the girls would commit suicide by jumping off the cliff.”
If we think about the legends of the place, we find it hard to believe that such a scenic landscape created by the friendship of oaks and other trees that are home to a diversity of wildlife could have had such a dark past.
To all these were witnessed a various species of bats: the greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis), Geoffroy's bat (Myotis emarginatus), Mehely’s horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus mehelyi).If they could talk, these tiny mammals would be able to tell us what happened in these places of such outstanding beauty and grim past.
Thank you for your attention!
Mare Nostrum NGO
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