European Wilderness Society visits Synevyr Wilderness

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This week, the European Wilderness Team are visiting Synevyr Wilderness. For the last week the team have been in Synevyr National Nature Park with ten artists and filmmakers, as part of the Plein Air WILDArt Project. The artists have been using the Wilderness as their muse, which has led to the creation of beautiful artwork.

Please also read: Open House at Synevyr National Nature Park

Synevyr Wilderness

The Synevyr National Nature Park is a protected area IUCN category V. However, the core zone in this case has a quality of IUCN category IA. This was the conclusion of the EWS Wilderness Quick Audit in 2016, when part of the Synevyr core zone became a member of the European Wilderness Network.

IUCN category V is a protected area with significant ecological, biological, cultural and scenic value. The area aims to safeguard the integrity of the interaction between people and nature, to protect these values. Synevyr National Nature Park is an excellent example that even IUCN category V can include high quality Wilderness.

The Wilderness core zone is mostly road-less and without any management intervention. According to Ukrainian legislation the core zone is not open to the public, which means no public trails. Furthermore, there has been little human impact over the last 60 years. This zone aims to protect living organisms, groups and ecosystems; no special management is applied, instead, under protection, natural processes occur without human intervention.

Nature in Synevyr Wilderness

A significant part of Synevyr Wilderness is the fragments of old-growth conifer and broadleaf forests which cover the region. The area provides a refuge for native populations of all Carpathian carnivores such as brown bear, wolf, wildcat and lynx. It is also home to at least 53 plant species and 43 animal species that are in the Red Book of Ukraine.

Folklore in Synevyr National Nature Park

The largest lake in Ukraine, Synevyr Lake, is found in Synevyr National Nature Park. It is known as one of the seven wonders of Ukraine, and was visited by the European Wilderness Society team and ten artists during the WILDArt Plein Air event last week. Nestled between mountains covered with spruce-fir forest, the Lake rests at 989m above sea level. It was formed around ten thousand years ago by a powerful earthquake, and its crystal clear waters host many rare fish species. There is a local legend surrounding the lake, about a girl called Syn (so-named for her blue eyes) and a shepherd (Vir in Ukrainian).

Syn was the daughter of an Earl, and whilst out collecting flowers she met and fell in love with a shepherd. Her father found out and ordered him killed with a rock. Syn ran to her dead lover where she wept and wept. Clear tears, as blue as her eyes, enough to fill a lake. The rock rises out of the lake to this day, and so we have the Lake Synevyr.

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