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BBF at the Chestnut Festival

BBF stand
Oct. 18, 2023
The Chestnut festival is being held for the jubilee 10th time in the village of Kolarovo, located in the vicinity of Belasitsa mountain. The event is organized by the Belasitsa Nature Park Directorate and partners, among whom is traditionally the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation. Its beginning was laid during the development of the Belasitsa Nature Park Management Plan in 2012, in which some BBF experts took part. The BBF played a fundamental role in the creation of Belasitsa Nature Park in 2007 and in setting the direction of the park administration.

Belasitsa Nature Park was created with the aim of protecting:
  •  centuries-old forests, composed mainly of common beech (Fagus sylvatica) and common chestnut (Castanea sativa), as well as natural sycamore habitats;
  • protected and endemic plant and animal species;
  • unique and representative communities and ecosystems in the treeless area of the mountain.
Of particular interest are the centuries-old chestnut forests, which are rare in Bulgaria and a priority habitat for conservation according to the Habitats Directive of the European Union.

The BBF participates every year with a stand where visitors can learn about the work of the Foundation in the region and at the national level, and buy a souvenir or a product with a cause. For children, we have prepared educational games on a tablet on the theme "Think in a circle", the climate game Terra Futura, stacking a puzzle "Chestnut", making a mask of a wild animal inhabiting the mountains, coloring patterns with leaves of different types of trees.b

The eight villages in Podgorieto - Belasitsa, Kolarovo, Samuilovo, Kamena, Yavornitsa, Klyuch, Skrut and Gabrene, participate in the festival with their own tents, where traditional dishes, fruits and vegetables, chestnut honey are arranged, and their representatives wear typical folk costumes and accessories from this end. With a special program of folk songs and dances from the region, all community centers of the villages of Podgorieto participate. Experts from the park and local tourist guides organize treks along routes, and in recent years, participants from the neighboring countries, whose territories Belasitsa is spread over, have also presented themselves in the festival. The purpose of the festival is to present both nature and culture of the region, to attract new friends to the Park, to be a celebration for the whole community.