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Young Volunteers cleaned up Arda river

Young volunteers from the Eastern Rhodopes cleaned up the Arda river near the town of Madzharovo during their spring holiday. They participated in the Green School, which is part of the Field lessons in nature conservation, the educational youth program of the New Thracian Gold project.


The students collected lots of trash, discarded tires and broken tourist boards from hard accessible places. They repaired information boards near Madzharovo.


The young volunteers helped local farmers who raise rare breeds of cattle in an ecological way. They built a sheep-pen from natural materials using an ancient technology.

Every day, part of the group did monitoring on vultures in the area, maintained a detailed diary and even started guiding the tourists.

Part of the activities were related to the monitoring of wild horses in this region. Students were introduced to the work of two Dutch students, Willem van Hoеsel and Stefan van der Werff, who were studying the wild horses in the Eastern Rhodopes. The volunteers took part in the student’s survey, learned about the methods of tracking wild horses and helped in moving the horses from one area to another.

Presentations and discussions on various topics related to biodiversity in the Eastern Rhodopes and its conservation were organized in the evenings: the New Thracian Gold project for the sustainable development of the region, the "People-Planet-Profit" concept, natural grazing, rare local breeds, traditional cattle-breeding, primitive horses, especially Karakachan horse and Karakachan dog and also birds of the Eastern Rhodopes.


Field lessons in nature conservation are organized from the very beginning of the  New Thracian Gold project in  2010. So far, over 40 volunteers from the Eastern Rhodopes have  participated in the Field lessons.

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