Green Balkans volunteer camp

In the period 28-30 September 2022 a volunteer camp was held in the area of the village of Rakitna, Kresna Gorge, organized by Zeleni Balkani, together with the FWFF and with the participation of a group of motivated volunteers. More than 10 new volunteers joined the camp and shared with us the emotion of a working day among the vultures.

The purpose of the camp was to renew the fence around the existing one above the village of Rakitna, the aviary for birds, to fasten new perches for the birds, to tighten the net of the cage itself and many other repair works in and around the facility.

All our volunteers were very well equipped with tools, armed with big smiles, and filled with inexhaustible energy and enthusiasm. After arriving in the late afternoon in the village of Rakitna and checking in, a presentation was held about vultures in Bulgaria and more specifically, in the Kresna gorge area. The presentation was led by the Vulture Expert from the FWFF, Hristo Peshev, who presented first-hand the challenges, difficulties, and successes of working with these birds over the years. It was very interesting discussion with a lot of questions from the volunteers present.

The next day was spent at work. Well, of course in the end we were rewarded with some fun for the effort. From morning to night we spent our time at the birdcage, carefully ushering its occupants into porters so that they would not be stressed by our presence there. After that, the renovation works on the dwelling of “the feathered residents” began. We built a new staircase for them to reach their porch on the second floor more easily. We then installed two brand-new oak perches at different heights. We replaced the fence, and cleared up. In general, we exceeded the plan!

After returning to the base camp we prepared a little surprise for our volunteers - archery. Everyone had the opportunity to experience the emotion of hitting the target (or not hitting it.. :))) and feel like a real Robin Hood in the beautiful nature of Rakitna.

Hristo Peshev, on the other hand, surprised us the next day with a prepared short walking route to wonderful panoramic views of Simitli and the Pirin peaks and the Vihren ridge, which literally took our breath away. On the way there we had an ornithological walk, stopping to watch vultures, western ravens, buteos, peregrine falcons, and other birds from vantage points. Of course, we also met a lot of reptiles and other forest animals, about whose species Hristo told us in detail.

We sincerely thank the volunteers who tirelessly searched for tasks and work to support the activities of the site. We thank the FWFF, our hosts, and Hristo Peshev, our guide in the area for three days who kept enriching our knowledge of the surrounding nature with interesting stories and facts.

The camp was a success and a great example that together with more people work can be pleasant and amusing!

The event was also held thanks to: