Interview with Boris

Interview with Boris

by Jarre Forment

Boris is one of the persons that we help. When some of us go to Boris, we help him to drag trees/bushes around and put them on big piles. He needs his land to change, and can count on our help to do that.


How did you get in touch with Park Istra (volunteering service)?

I heard about them and their work years ago, when they still lived in other place, and was very intrigued and wished to meet them. We didn’t meet, though, until I started this project few months ago and friend gave me Janez’s contact. He liked the project and here we are now, working together :)

You have a lot of land to cover, how do you manage that?

With a lot of work and dedication. But above all love for the land and animals, trying to be the best keeper of the land as we can.

How did you get involved in the environmental project you are trying to maintain?

We (me and my team) were searching for a project that could help us realise our dreams of establishing a natural protected area, where we could rewild the land, animals and also us, humans, who are in dire need of reshaping values and states of being. Our first try in starting a big LIFE EU project failed, so we went for what was there. We started the collaboration with Park Škocjanske jame and joined their project Za Kras, of establishing habitats for endangered species.

What animals do we cut the trees for?

Primarily for birds (Eurasian eagle-owl, ortolan bunting, eurasian hoopoe,..) and butterflies (marsh fritillary,..), but with them also the biodiversity of other species gets richer, which positively affects the environment. The thing we are aiming to establish is, so called, mosaic landscape. A land of biodiverse habitats (small patches of forest, marshes, rocks, ponds, bushes), with extensive farming/managing the land with grazing.

You have a lot of horses, how do they live? Is this a fully free settlement?

Our vision is to bring the horses back to the land and help them rewild, in a sense. Which means they are not “fully free”, as we still care for them and work with them and they are still bounded by a fence, although on a big plot of land (120ha). I am happy to say they are living a good life with no health problems.

Is keeping up the land your full time job?

Yes. This and working with horses and providing workshops and seminars for people who want to learn about natural living, rewilding and working with horses in natural way.

What’s the story behind the land, was it always full of bushes?

The fact is that whole karst was full of big and old oak trees, which, as legend has it, was all cut down and taken to the Venezia to build the city on water. There is some historic evidence for that, but the truth is a bit more complex. It was probably also burning down for farming and cutting trees for other purposes. Anyhow, a few centuries ago it became just a bare land, a karst desert. Later, in 1960’s, there was a big action taken to reforest the land, and they did it with Black Pines, which is a pioneer species, that grows easily on rocky floors. It was a great success, and few decades later we are facing a threat of overgrowing.