Estonia June 2016 Conservation working holiday

Our visit to the forests and peat bogs of north-eastern Estonia in June 2016 was one of the most memorable we have done. We put together a team of 15 adventurous volunteers to help the Estonian Fund for Nature (ELF) carry out surveys of the stunning Capercaillie in a protected area of forest and mires.


We worked for 6 days, walking transects through the forest, covering around 50 hectares each on each day (quite a challenge), and had four days for exploring the wildlife, history and culture of the country. The work area was the Alutaguse Forest and mire complex in the NE of the country. We stayed in two guesthouses, the first for two nights not far south of Rakvere and the other for the rest of the stay further south just outside the village of Tudulinna. Map

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Capercaillie Marko Kohv 4-768x465

This visit was partly funded by ELF and partly by EuCAN, and cost each participant £325 (assuming group size of 15), excluding travel costs to Estonia.

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For more info about the ELF, see and for details of the accommodation, see


Participants made their own travel arrangements to and from Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Some travelled to Riga in Latvia and then to Tallinn by bus as Riga is generally  more easily accessible from the UK .

Click here for further information about the project, travel instructions, programme and equipment list .The risk assessment for this visit is here and the publicity flyer for the trip here .

Estonian Wildlife: To find out more about Estonian wildlife, the lists from various wildlife tours over the last few years are very helpful – and have some mouthwateringly exciting species! see this link.

Of particular note are the species lists from this tour , and the information from scrolling down this blog.

The photos taken by the participants on this visit are on the EuCAN Flickr site here. We also have species lists for the visit:

bird-lists-estonia-updated-june-2016-1 ,




moth-lists-for-poland-and-estonia-may-june-2016 This includes a wide range of moths trapped in western Poland on the journey to Estonia.


Cranberry Fritillary Boloria aquilinaris


Reed Tussock larva, Laelia coenosa.