Wildlife Conservation Travel in Europe

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Cantabrian bear in Asturias
By Isabel Conway
Conservation usually conjures up images of saving wild animals and the fragile eco-systems of remote communities on the other side of the world. Yet, on our doorsteps Europe is increasingly at risk of losing many of its last remaining wild spaces and areas of natural beauty along with already seriously endangered wildlife.Over population, re-zoning for housing and industry, de-forestation, roads infrastructure has radically altered Europe’s landscape and this relentless pace of change across the continent has alarmed conservationists.
Are you wanting to do something more on your holidays than just lie down on a beach and admire an awesome view? If so then read on.
The European Nature Trust (TENT) have created a series of conservation journeys that will take you to some of Europe’s last remaining wild spaces.
Its mission is to help us to discover and value areas on a conservation journey and highlight awareness of the fragile state of Europe’s last remaining off the beaten track spots, whilst giving back to charitable causes and communities on the ground.
These exclusive travel experiences offer unparalleled access to leading conservation projects on the continent. The new TENT Conservation Journeys enables travellers to observe and also be given an  opportunity to assist in conservation work of supported projects, meeting the people behind them, enjoying hiking, and  cycling with authentic accommodation and local food and entertainment.
There are tailored shorter journeys as well as more adventurous longer trips to visit the projects that TENT supports in countries which already include Spain, Scotland, Romania and Italy. Wild places in Europe are diverse but are often overlooked in favour of conservation projects elsewhere in the world.
The aim is to showcase some of these leading initiatives on our doorsteps in Europe that protect and restore wildlife and connect visitors with wildlife conservationists who are protecting these remaining wild places for the benefit of all.
Specialized trips working with local conservation partners include projects like rewilding and restoring the Scottish Highlands at the Alladale Wilderness Reserve, including the planting of native forest and conservation work with endangered native wildlife such as the red squirrel and Scottish wildcat.
Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) in winter coat. Riaño Mountains/ Picos de Europa National Park. Northern Spain

*In Italy discovery of Appenine wildlife in the heart of Abruzzo region’s stunning 150,000  acre national park where conservationists are working to save the Marsican bear (of which only about 50 remain), wolves and wild boar.* In Asturias, Spain, conservation lovers can help projects that are trying to save the Cantabrian bear  and chamois, extensive rare flora and Iberian wolf.

Romania remote farm in the carpatian mountains
*In Romania an immersive journey through the untamed wilderness of Europe’s largest forested national park in the remote Carpathian mountains, exploring its rich and diverse wildlife and medieval villages where over a half of Europe’s virgin forest and a third of its large carnivores are found. TENT Founder Paul Lister said “Europe is full of wild and wonderful places, if only you know where to look. These private, wild Journeys are the perfect antidote to our busy daily lives and offer a memorable alternative to a city break or long weekend away.

They offer the opportunity to rest, reset and connect to nature – all while helping to protect our shared environment. Furthermore, each booking includes a donation to the project visited and so contributes directly to the conservation work taking place on the ground”. Paul added.
“With under 5% of charitable giving being focused on the environment, we need to help shift the dial. These new experiences aim to do just that. We want to help shift the consciousness of the curious traveller and inspire them to engage with wildlife conservation in Europe. We are all about impact: positive, life-changing impacts on our wonderful guests; and on the places and projects we support.”
For more information on discovering hidden Europe on a immersive conservation journey  see www.theeuropeannaturetrust.com
Bear

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