In the framework of the Year of Ecology in Russia, a media tour for journalists was held on 30 June in the Luga district of the Leningrad region. The purpose of the tour was to show the best practices that help to maintain a good status of water bodies in the basin of the Luga river and Baltic sea.
The trip is jointly organized by three environmental organizations - LLC "Ecocentrum", NGO "Friends of the Baltic" and NGO "Society for the promotion of sustainable development of rural territories". The fact that organizers decided to focus on the basin of the Luga river is not a coincidence - the river is a unique water body, one of the largest rivers in the Leningrad region and the only river which has preserved the reproduction of wild salmon.
"A lot of material was published about the environmental problems of the region in the Year of Ecology. Problems do exist, but we believe that it is important to show how these problems can be solved" - after welcoming the participants, said Olga Senova.
On the river near Tolmachevo school participants met with students that explore the river Luga and its tributaries. The Director of the school Yulia I. Shevtsova has been managing studies of water quality in the Luga river since 2008. Also she coordinates the research work of other Luga schools cooperating with the LugaBalt project and Friends of the Baltic - they help with methods and equipment for river studies. The Head of administration of city settlement Tolmachevo Eugene M. Zhulev joined the discussion. He spoke about the special attention to waste removal, the tasks for the reconstruction of outdated water treatment facilities. The environmental information centre for the population in the Luga district is planned to be created on the base of the school.
In the town of Luga, a meeting was held in Social and business centre. Executive Director of the organization Ekaterina Eliseeva told the guests about the experience of Luga district in the project "Clean rivers to healthy Baltic sea" (Lugabalt), and plans to participate in the project Lugabalt-2, an important part of which will be the development of water tourism in the area. The main challenge for the development of tourism in the region is the shallowing of the river.
Journalists visited a large cattle-breeding farm "Partizan". The director Victor D. Sychev told the participants about technologies of waste management to the livestock enterprise. Milk is being produced and fodder crops cultivated here since 1961. In the framework of the project "Clean rivers to healthy Baltic sea" the regulations on manure management, strategy monitoring, developed key recommendations for limiting the load on the Saba river are prepared for the farm. Manure is stored on the adobe site, and then composted and brought to the fields.
Then journalists spoke with the head of a small family farm Irina Fedulova about the possibilities of manure utilization. Farm is located in village Poloski, Osmino district. It also produces milk and products made from it. The farm has 45 head of cattle. It was built on the grant of the government of the Leningrad region. In 2016, Ministry of agriculture listed Irina Fedulova’s farm among the 20 best farms in Russia. The company is focused on organic production.
On the farm manure is pumped to the separator where it is separated into liquid and solid fractions. The liquid fraction is stored in an underground vault. In summer it is used for fertilizing plants and also operates a biogas plant on manure. The solid fraction is used as substrate for growing mushrooms.
During the trip, journalists of St. Petersburg and Leningrad region got the opportunity to find out that the load on the environment and water bodies can be reduced using not really complicated methods. They are convinced that there are agricultural producers who seek to do their utmost to solve the problem of sewage livestock. They also met with organizations examinating the ecological status of rivers, and citizens who with personal actions can reduce negative impacts on the river.