The New Thracian Gold Project is supporting economic growth and welfare in the Eastern Rhodopes Mountains by developing activities which combine organic farming, nature conservation and tourism. This project is carried out by the Dutch nature conservation organisations Ark and Avalon and financially supported by the Dutch Post-code Lottery in the period of 2009- 2014.

NTG Newsletter 6/2012

New Thracian Gold wishes you Merry Christmas and happy 2013!


NTG urgently appeals for the protection of the information signs along the Long Distance Trail for biking and hiking in the Rhodopes. In October, a hundred route signs were placed, but several are already removed or destroyed, as the project team found out.  Read more


Fokko Erhart, NTG Natural grazing coordinator, published a 32 page booklet about the Eastern Rhodopes ONTDEK DE MAGIE VAN DE OOSTELIJKE RHODOPEN ("Discover the magic of the Eastern Rhodope's”) . Read more


There are ten stories about the Rhodopes in the new book with travel stories and reportages “Before the oblivion” published by the journalist Rumen Stoichkov (Bulgarian National Radio). The “gem” among the ten stories is Madzharovo - legends from the volcanos throat. “Madzharovois also the title of Stoichkov’s travel story awarded with the second prize in the second edition of the competition “Eastern Rhodopes – taste the wild nature”. Read more


On December 1st, in the valley of Arda River 161 Griffon Vultures have been counted during the 8th Griffon Vultures roosting sites census on the Balkans. In 2011 the number was 150. This year’s Griffon Vultures census in the Eastern Rhodopes was part of the Nature conservation camp in the Vulture Center in Madzharovo organized by BSPB with the financial support of NTG. Read more and see here photos of the counting


NTG can provide strategic leadership in bridging different organizations in the Eastern Rhodopes. This is the main conclusion of the internship of Manuela Ilakova, a student at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. She spent three months so far (September – November 2012) on the research “Challenges to the successful participation of local people in the development of tourism in the Eastern Rhodopes”. Read more


Two otters were observed in the Arda River near the Nature conservation center in Madzharovo in the morning of December 1st, 2012. In the Eastern Rhodopes otters are active mainly at night and observations of otters during the day are very rare. Read more


The eastern part of the Rhodopes is the most beautiful tourist destination. This opinion of NTG expert Johan Bekhuis is the highlight of the reportage broadcasted by BNR, Bulgarian National radio (Radio Bulgaria) in several languages in November. Read more


Information materials on the Eastern Rhodopes – brochures, leaflets, fliers produced within New Thracian Gold project – are available for tourists and guests in the Tourist Information Center – Kardzhali. Since a month it is working as a new municipal unit. Read more


Bulgaria extended the boundaries of 26 existing nature areas and added 3 new sites, enlarging its already extensive Natura 2000 network by another 450 km2 according to the latest update of the Natura 2000 lists announced on EU website on November 26th. In the Eastern Rhodopes, there are 9 Natura 2000 sites. See more and read here how Natura 2000 protects the wildlife in Europe (including in the Eastern Rhodopes) - photo story of NTG expert Stefan Avramov (in Bulgarian)


The Via Rhodopica Route including Smolyan, Zlatograd and Devin will be the first new itinerary in the Wonders of Bulgaria packages of the Bulgarian tour operators. Read more


On 23 November, the annual meeting of the focus groups of New Thracian Gold took place in the village of Stambolovo. The achievements in the outgoing year and plans in 2013 were in the focus of the discussions. Read more


The benefits of organic farming for the maintenance and increase of the biodiversity in Austria and Croatia were highlighted during the annual NTG meeting in  Stambolovo. Barbara Steurer from the Austrian Council for Agricultural Engineering and Rural Development and Sonja Karoglan from Croatian Ecologica showed interesting results from their countries. Read more


The very typical but rare Bulgarian breeds Rhodopi Shorthorn Cattle, Bulgarian Grey Cattle and Karakachan Sheep were presented at the prestigious animal exhibition EUROTIER that took place between 13 and 16 November 2012 in Hannover, Germany. Read more


When you are around Madzharovo, Studen Kladenets, Krumovitsa, Byala Reka, Ivaylovgrad dam lake and in other Natura 2000 sites in the Eastern Rhodopes, you already have a fantastic smartphone tool to identify the birds you see. The first environmental application for smartphones SmartBirds combines a birds identifier, an electronic diary of observations and information on Natura 2000 sites in Bulgaria. And what’s more, it is free of charge. Read more


A ban for the construction of wind turbines is already in place for the Eastern Rhodopes after Bulgaria has started implementing the regulations of the National Renewable Energy Action Plan 2011 – 2020. Read more


New Thracian Gold will present the project and the tourism potential of the Eastern Rhodopes at HOLIDAY & SPA EXPO 2013 in Sofia from 14 to 16 February 2013.


See about more future events on the Calendar section of NTG website

Visit our website: NTG website 

Follow us in Facebook and Twitter

ТHE NEW THRACIAN GOLD - 6600 Kardzhali, Post box 153
тел.: +359 361 54 497
Dimitar Simitchiev ( assistant ):
Iva Toncheva ( project PR ):; +359 884266804

To unsubscribe please click here.

Vladislav Popov (organic agriculture), +359 887788412
Mihaela Kircheva (alternative tourism), +359 887831026
Hristo Hristov (natural grazing and wilderness), +359 886059917
Stefan Avramov (biodiversity), +359 886605410