People of Ida-Virumaa as forest people
Mall Hiiemäe takes a glance at the former way of life, beliefs and habits of the people of Ida-Virumaa and at what has been maintained up until today. Living in the middle of large forest stands, the people of Ida-Virumaa have considered them selves as people of forest, knowing what it takes to survive in the forest environment. For centuries, these people have been hunters and foresters. The 20th century brought about major changes into the life of people here, especially since the middle of the century with all the machinery and new roads: intensive forest cultivation, dredging of rivers, melioration of mires etc.
Geological surprises from the Voka klint bay
Anatoli Molodkov, Natalja Bolihhovskaja and Kuldev Ploom researched the unique terrace in the North-Estonian klint zone, the age of which has proved to be much older than known earlier. The Voka denudation (22 m high) is the best example of exposed Quaternary sediments in Estonia. The recent research has shown that most of the sediments in the Voka Bay have accumulated before the maximum stage of the last Ice Age. The authors thoroughly describe their research methods and try to reconstruct the climate of the time of accumulation (39 000 – 33 000 years ago).
Who or what is Gloeocapsomorpha?
Ivar Puura takes a look back at a mysterious small creature, who lived about 450 billion years ago and whose fossil remains are today known as oil shale. However, scientists are not sure about the creature’s life form. The first researchers believed it was blue algae, some consider it an organism resembling algae; others prefer to name it Cyanobacteria, which is actually the modern term for blue algae.
Waterfalls and cascades roar during the high water
Kalle Suuroja suggests to visit some mighty and some rather miserable waterfalls in Ida-Virumaa – the area featuring Estonia’s largest and highest waterfalls, which are, however, low in water or sometimes lack any water at all. Almost all of the waterfalls of the region are related to the North-Estonian Klint. The article presents the most noteworthy waterfalls and cascades of Ida-Virumaa in text and pictures, including the Estonian highest – Valaste waterfall.
The bird club and bird places of Ida-Virumaa
Indar Zeinet and Margus Pensa give advice to bird-watchers in Ida-Virumaa. Most of the local bird fauna is related to forest habitats, but there are also reed beds along the coast of Lake Peipsi, coastal habitats in the North and the industrial landscapes, stunningly interesting bird sites.
What do the rivers of Narva and Kongo have in common?
Urmas Sellis has an answer: Maria the Osprey. Ospreys are the most numerous eagles in Ida-Virumaa, and the Puhatu mire system has been designated as nature protection area because of the high density of Ospreys. Maria was caught and equipped with a GPS-sender in July 2006. It turned out that she spent the winter on the left bank of the Kongo River, 7000 km from its nesting area.
The story of the Amur sleeper, or rotan
Tarmo Timm introducees the small and persistent foreign fish – Amur sleeper/the rotan Perccottus glenii and the background of its fast distribution. This fish has a big mouth and it eats anything on its way. They sleep in the ice and can therefore survive even in low ponds.
One third of Ida-Virumaa is under nature protection
Kaili Viilma gives an overview of the county’s protected areas, protected monuments and the related problems. The protected areas of the region present very different habitats and landscapes, starting from klint and klint forests to mires, dunes and flooded meadows. There are 5 nature protection areas, 18 landscape protection areas, 10 Natura 2000 areas and 16 protected parks in Ida-Virumaa, as well as numerous single objects and protected habitats. Most numerous are mire protection areas, followed by important area along the klint coast. A large map of the county’s protected areas supplements this detailed article on local nature protection.
Interview: The worst times of the environment of North-East Estonia are over.
Toomas Kukk has interviewed Valdo Liblik, a scientist.
New data on flying squirrels in Virumaa
Jaanus Remm, Liisa Rennel and Uudo Timm present the status quo of the research of the flying squirrel. In 2007, a new technology – radiometrical research – was taken into use, and a few flying squirrels were equipped with a sender. The research has shown many interesting results and new data on the behaviour of the squirrels.
Estonian Nature enquires
Agu Värimäe lists the hottest environmental problems of the Ida-Viru County.
Vladimir Mirotvortsev explains the activities of the Sillamäe section of the Estonian Society for Nature Protection.
Hiking trail: which path to choose in Ida-Virumaa
Anne-Ly Feršel directs you to the numerous interesting hiking trails in the Ida-Viru County. 17 hiking trails are shortly described, and depicted on a map.
The Oru Park and promenade
Maire Uustal describes the colourful past and the lovely present-day of one of Estonia’s best known park. While the manor house is sill to be restored, the park flourishes at its best and is comparable to the times before the II World War. The author describes the origin and past of the park, founded in the beginning of the 20th century as a landscape park. In 1934, the manor complex was bought by Estonian industrialists and given to the President as a summer residence. Since 1997 the 75.4 ha large park is a landscape protection area and all the beauty is open to those who are interested.
The Kukruse manor and park
Heldur Sander and Alar Läänelaid remind the famous scientist and a cultural researcher Robert von Toll and his manor as well as the gorgeous larch alley. The article presents the history of the manor house and the park (mid-19th century). The Kukruse manor was also the first place in Estonia to use oil shale as a fuel. The manor cemetery is also described, including the dendrological overview of the cemetery.
What happens to the land after mining: the case of the Küttejõu open mine.
Mait Sepp and Margus Pensa observe the changes in an open mine after mining has been finished. Mining works were started in the Küttejõu open mine in 1925 and finished in 1947. During the 26 years about 4 billion tons of oil shale was extracted from the mine. While most of the quarries were recultivated, the Küttejõu mine with its 200 ha was left untouched. Now the mine is naturally reforested, but because of oil shale left behind, the forest is very liable to fire. Compared to recultivated areas the quarry has a much more diverse flora and fauna, including several protected plant species.
Can the Struuga heritage landscape be saved?
Raivo Kalle considers the state of the largest floodplain meadow (1300 ha) of Ida-Virumaa as mediocre and sees hope for the future with the aid of nature protection mechanisms. He describes the evolution of the meadow and the current state, which is rather sad – management, mainly cattle-herding has been stopped.