Final details for my holiday arrived today. So, here’s the gist…

You will be involved in a variety of activities. These may include:

  • Building nature trails
  • Cutting and collectng brushwood (junipers)
  • Fencing and dry stone walling
  • Clearing a swamping pool or amphibians

Located on a remote peninsula on the south coast of Saaremaa, approximately 30 minutes’ drive from the accommodation. The area comprises coastal meadows and pine/juniper woodland, which as been enclosed to create grazing meadows for native Estonian horses belonging to local people. The area has public access and is being used as a nature reserve, witha local woman, Sirje, acting as volunteer warden. Local people are campaigning to have the site designated as a national park. The Estonian government provides a maintenance grang of several hundred pounds per annum. Estonian volunteers had cleared some areas of encroaching juniper last year. The area is notable for the presence of dry stone walls, which act a field and road boundaries.

…it goes on, so lets cut to the accommodation…

You will be housed in a large wooden farmhouse belonging to the local church. The accommodation is in a remote location, close to the village of Laimjala. There are several dormitories with beds, plus a wooden outhouse that can sleep 4. The rooms will be, with 2 shared bathrooms. there are good dining and communal areas, a modern kitchen, it is all to a clean and comfortable standard. Please note that at timesthe water supply for showers can be limited, however hot water is available from the boiler of an adjacent sauna. A sauna onsite canbe used at any time.

…hrmm, sauna, could be fun – never tried a sauna before, but what’s to eat…

For the morning the food will be prepared by self prepared by the volunteers and it follows a traditional style – porridges (oatmeal, buckwheat and other) with jam or butter, sandwiches, tea and coffee.

Lunch includes sup, vegetables and meat, sour cream on the top. Although usually Estonians have three courses for the lunch, in the summer time it is hot and thus it is preferred to eat less.

Dinner consists of a bigger meal – there are usually boiled potatoes covered with different sauces, cooked or baked meat (pork, beef) and often served with a side salad. Various sweet courses will follow including cookies, “kissell” etc…

…and for leisure…

There will be many opportunities to get to know the local area. These will be organised by your hosts according to the volunteers interest, but may include a trip round the island, a boat tour, a remote campfire in the meadow, riding the native horses and getting to know the islands capital. the annual Sea Festival also takes place whilst I’m there…