This past year was pretty intense with the “Forstverein” (meaning Forest Association) in Bern. To start on a local note, the association set up a bar and members are now working to quench the thirst of other students at every party held at the university to introduce the association to new students.

The following events took place this year, 2019 –

In July, our members went on a one-week trip to discover Slovenia. They met Slovenian colleagues from different branches of forestry, discovered amazing forests and shared great moments also after their days of exploration and learning. That time together strengthened the bond between the participants and broadened their horizon on the diversity of forests and their management practices.

The last event took place in Switzerland on a beautiful day during the month of September. The participants were exposed to a new concept – horse logging. Our guide, who is currently studying at the university with us, worked for the past 15 years in the forest with his animal friends – 2 Belgian draught horse (a mother and her son). He explained that working with horses need a strong connection. It is important to see that the system does not work like normal riding with a piece of metal between the horse’s mouth (bridle), but mainly with calls and energy between horse and worker. The participants had the chance to experience it and to work for a time with the horse! It is also very impressive to see how effective this method is and that the soil remains in a very good state after the logging.

The second activity of the day was about extensive pastures in low oak forests. By planning a near-natural management he wants to preserve the dynamics and the irregularity of such meadows and it is impressive how successful he is with it. Many rare plant and animal species have so far benefited from it and it is also a treat for the eye. Rich in small structures, which have hardly been artificially created, but have been created by grazing, the landscape is beautiful. Such bush landscapes are among the most biodiverse habitats.

We started off with a good note and waiting for an exciting year ahead !