Recently I got the opportunity to go to Latvia through ARCH Network with Erasmus+ funding as part of a learning experience geared towards expanding the knowledge of culture in another country and comparing conservation practices to Scotland. Whilst in Latvia we learned everything from how to identify tracks from wolves, moose and wild boar to the use of remote sensing in detecting areas of the invasive non-native plant, Giant hogweed. Remote sensing is the use of technology such as lasers to take photos from an aerial view of the land. The technology can be used to detect moisture content, minerals and organic content, allowing giant hogweed to be pinpointed. I also got to experience Latvia’s culture and food and did not have a moment of hunger as we had many delicious meals every day.
Halfway through the trip we got taken down Latvia’s main river, Gauja river, on a raft. We had a wonderfully relaxing time and encountered quite a bit of wildlife, everything from a black kite to common darter dragonflies.
Our last night in Riga (Latvia’s Capital) was spent attending an event called Balta nights. There was everything from art installations to Latvian theatre projected on buildings. Whilst on our way between areas we found ourselves walking along a stream running through the centre of the city. There was a dark shape sliding through the water, we walked closer and it turned out to be a beaver! It seemed little affected by the noise and light pollution within the city and even pulled itself out onto the bank to munch some vegetation.
This trip was very educational and hugely enjoyable.
Here are a few photos from my trip;
All in all a wonderful place to visit!