Wilderness DiaryDiary of a Wilderness Volunteer

Biff Houlston

Medieval festival

One weekend I was greeted with glorious sunshine and the prospect of medieval shenanigans and steam trains. Snacks packed and a bottle of water I made my way down to Sankt Andrä im Lungau. Along the way I met one of my other colleagues Hanna. She walked the last stretch with me and soon we found ourselves at the steam train. While I was busy marvelling at the train...

Amphibians, Reptiles and Medieval people

Amphibians in Mariapfarr As the snow began to melt and the signs of spring started to emerge, so did the herps. On one of my walks I found myself around the lake of the Der Outdoorparc Lungau. It was the breeding season of the common toad, Bufo bufo. Thousands (or so it seemed to excited me) of them had gathered to call and find mates. Heaven for a herpetologist and...

Learning to ski

As a passionate and amateur herpetologist I was very keen to start exploring of Austria to see the various snakes, lizards and amphibians the country has to offer. But with the largest dump of snow the Lungau had had in many years… it meant I had a long time to wait and a lot of time to kill. So what to do in the snow laden mountains of the Alps? Learn to ski...

Getting to Austria

My time here in Austria started officially in February but first I would need to get there. Volunteers before me moved with a suitcase and backpack; taking only the essentials and necessities. With a year ahead of me, a want to visit friends old and new along the way and having always wanted do a long road trip, I decided to move to Austria by car. A casual 1,014...

The WILDArt Exhibition

Within my first few weeks at the European Wilderness Society we displayed some of the artwork produced during last year’s WILDArt project in Synevyr Wilderness in Ukraine. Together with the team we had a short time to frame and hang up what felt like hundreds of prints, pictures and paintings. But with the whole team pitching in, from framers to carriers...

European Wilderness Academy Days 2019

Academy days

Soon after the WILDArt exhibition we rolled straight into the Academy Days; 3 days of talking and listening to experts in the respective fields. From honoured guests John Hausdoerffer the founding Dean of the School of Environmental & Sustainability and Gary Oye, the former chief of the US National Park Service and US Forestry Service. We also heard from rangers...