Wednesday, 30 March 2011


Beykoz Doga College Forest of the Bosphorus has always been a location to spark the imagination, and in ancient times was a place of sacrifice. Blood was spilt to petition Zeus and Poseidon for a safe journey across the treacherous Black Sea, without which no one would venture into those stormy waters.
The first historic people to settle the upper-Bosphorus were Thracians and Greeks and the ancient name for the area was Amikos or Amnicus, named after a Thracian king. However, the area has changed hands many times since. As well as being one of the most strategically important crossing points in history, the Bosphorus itself has always been rich in fish and opportunities for plundering the even richer communities around the Marmara, and Beykoz has been settled by wave on wave of invaders from around and beyond the Black Sea: Thracians, Bithynians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and finally Turks.
In the Ottoman period, the land behind Beykoz was open country and forest used for hunting and an escape from the city by the Sultans and their court. The hunting lodge at Küçüksu, and the fountains and mosques that decorate the villages along the coast date from this era. The name Beykoz was established at this time and appears to derives from Bey (meaning prince, lord or gentleman) and Koz (the Persian word for village). (Koz is also a word for a type of walnut, another possible etymology).
Under Turkish control the straits have retained their strategic value; indeed British troops assembled in Beykoz on their way to fight in the Crimea in 1854.
Later attempts were made to bring industry to the area, most importantly the glassworks at Paşabahçe, which began as small workshops in the 17th century and by the 18th and 19th centuries were a well-established factory making the ornate spiral-designed or semi-opaque white glassware known to collectors worldwide as 'Beykoz-ware'. A well-known shoe factory was later built, now both glass and shoe factories are closed.
On the hillsides above the Bosphorus Beykoz has always suffered from uncontrolled development and large areas above the Bosphorus are covered in illegal housing, where migrants have come to live and work in the glass and other industries. Areas like Çubuklu and Paşabahçe are continually struggling to put in infrastructure to keep up with the housing being built illegally or semi-legally. Due to this incoming industrial workforce Beykoz has had a working-class character unseen behind the luxury of the Bosphorus waterfront. Schooling is somewhat of a problem and it is common to see children from the Beykoz area going to school by boat to the European side.
Now the illegal building is happening in the forests further back from the sea, particularly in the areas of Çavuşbaşı and Elmalı. This countryside is scattered with little villages, all of which are expanding now more roads are being put through.
Not all the new housing is scrappy, and Beykoz holds some of the most luxurious new development in the Istanbul area, the villa estates of Acarkent and Beykoz Konaklar, home to filmstars, members of parliament and other Istanbul glitterati. How attractive these places are and how cultured and respectable the residents are matters of some debate. The Bosphorus has historically been teeming with fish, and Beykoz does have a small fishing community (although the main fishing fleet is based in Istanbul itself). The fish restaurants at Anadolu Kavağı in particular have sprung up to serve day trippers from the Bosphorus tours by ferryboat.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Our expedition in Rodna Mountains National Park

Rodnei is the highest massif in the Eastern Carpathians (Pietrosu Rodnei Peak- 2.303 meters). Its main ridge (50 kilometers long, 3-40 km wide) offers you a splendid panorama of all the surrounding mountains. Volcanicmountain, it has some glacial lakes like Lala and some caves, the most notable one is "Izvorul Tausoarelor", the deepest cave in Romania, and the second in Europe, going about 479 meters beneath the surface and "Jgheabul lui Zalion", 242 meters deep. Some protected species of flora and fauna can be observed here: edelweiss, chamois, marmot, lynx etc

Saturday, 5 March 2011

our exhibition about this project

Dear partners,
I am glad to upload the photos of the exhibition that my students are preparing, about this eTwinning project. They were asked to do a project about Buskett, our Maltese forest.

Friday, 4 March 2011


Yesterday my students and I went on a fieldwork to study the Maltese trees and plants in a Maltese "forest" Buskett. We uploaded all the photos on the twinspace.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


Leiria Pine Forests belongs to a large National Forest which was created to form a sea wind protective barrier, a long time ago.
Thus, beyond the wooded area where the predominant pine is Pinus pinaster, we have a long coastline where several marine plants, such as beach’s Murganheira and sea thistle, can be found. Regarding the animal kingdom only insects and small reptiles. In the area of the first row of dunes we can also observe migratory birds that find there rest and shelter or their nesting site (such as the little Sea-Swallow).

When we move into the pine forest, the soil is more stable and the salinity is lower, which means there is the enriching of both flora and fauna.
Beyond the Pinus pinaster that prevails due to intensive planting along the years, there are some clusters of Pinus pinea. In the surroundings of Moel’s brook (watercourse that crosses the forest from east to west and flows into the Atlantic Ocean) it is possible to find acacia (Acacia horrida), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), poplars (Populus) alders (Alnus glutinosa), oaks (Quercus rubra) and willows (Salix babylonica). Some of these trees, such as the Eucalyptus globulus and the serpent pine trees, are considered of National Interest due to their size and configuration.
Beyond the trees we can find different types of undergrowth vegetation – white and pink heather, shrub ferns, lentisk, furze, broom and crowberry.
Rabbits and hares mostly compose the forests’ fauna, but we can also find otters, hedgehogs, foxes, badgers, etc. Regarding to birds we have crows, jays, leaf warbler, blackbirds, doves, pigeons, thrushes and partridges.

Rodna Mountains - The National park

The Mounts of Rodna preserve, more than all the other mountains of Romania, the traces of the quaternary glaciers.A karstic relief represented by caves like: “Izvorul Tausoarelor” (the Source of Tausoare) or “the gutter of Zalion” (Jgheabul him Zalion) or “the bath of Schneider” (Baia him Schneider).The river of Somes Mare has its source in this solid mass and collects all the small rivers of the western south, the south and the west of the Rodnei Mounts: Cobasel, Valea Vinului, Anies, Cormaia, Rebra, Salauta, with Telcisor, Stramba.

Under the top of Gargalau, it is the river Bistrita Aurie (Bistrita Dorée) which takes its source and moves towards the area of Bucovine.There are also 23 glacial lakes among which: Iezerul Pietrosului, Taurile Buhaiescului, Lala Pond, Lala Mica.

The flora is extremely rich, there are several rare species protected by the law: edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum), yellow gentian (Gentiana lutea), (Gentiana punctata), angelica (Angelica archagelica), Sangele voinicului (Nigitella will rubra), the yew (Taxus will rubra).
A fauna protected at the international level more than 29 (species of the lépidoptères among which Erebia pharte carpatica.
Birds of big size are found: the grouse (Tetrato tetris),
The cock of heather (Tetrao urogallus), the imperial eagle (Aquila chrysqetos);Among the mammals: the stag carpatic (Cerfus elaphus), the roe-deer (Capreolus capreolus), the marmot (Marmota marmota), the wild boar (Known scrofa), the bear (Ursus arctos), the wolf (Canis lupus), the lynx (Lynx lynx). The marten (Martes martes), the chamois (Rupicapra will rupicapra).