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Twinning in Latvia

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					Twinning in Latvia

A trip to Latvia in the end of April is strongly recommended. Malmö School of Nature made
such a trip 26-29/4 this year, and we really appreciated it.

The nature of western Latvia was in a way similar to southern Sweden but a little bit wilder.
Maija Malnaca at Environmental Interpretation Centre in Riga and Andris Soms, North
Vidzame biosphere reserve in Salascriva were great hosts. We learned a lot about outdoor
education from them and discussed different strategies of preserving fauna, flora and different
ecosystems.

The journey started in Riga where Maija showed us the city, and we visited for instance the
old town and Latvian Nature Museum. Different persons at the museum informed us about
there specialities.

On the second day we went by bus to Salascriva on the North Western coast. Andris Soms
welcomed us and showed us the main building of the North Vidzeme biosphere reserve. After
showing us a film and a power point presentation about the biosphere reserve we went to the
seashore. The shore and the nearest surroundings were rich in birds. We saw numerous
species of ducks and waders and also newly made tracks from otter.

The next day we went to a beautiful river passing a broad leaved forest some 10 km away. We
walked along the riverside and saw lots of birds, spring flowers and insects. Toads and frogs
were mating and were croaking loudly. The shy kingfisher passed us several times and we
also found many traces of beavers. The beaver had made some bridges over the river that we
used.

In the evening Andris had a very informative lesson for us on a bog, concerning the pressure
of the inland-ice and how a bog is constructed and should be maintained. Later in the evening
we called owls with Andris’ tape recorder. The weather was perfect and a tawny owl came
just some meters from us and we also heared the sound of roedeer bucks.

The last day we went back to Riga and participated in the celebrations of the Nature Museum.
The museum was founded the 29/4, 160 years ago! Much has of course changed since then,
but still the Latvian nature is their richest source of inspiration.

We were also much inspired by the Latvian nature, and by the friendly people that we met in
Latvia during our journey.