Gathering cranberries in the swamps of Olman
For a long time Olmansky swamps remained inaccessible even for the local population. Formerly, these were the hunting lands of the Radziwills, where all economic activities were strictly prohibited, with the exception of rare grand prince hunts. Then this territory was used by the military, having placed an aviation testing ground there – the largest in the territory of the BSSR. Oddly enough, but the presence of the military did not cause much harm to nature. Due to the ban on any active nature management, the forest-swamp complex with an area of more than 100 thousand hectares has retained its integrity. As a result, a huge swampy massif was formed in its natural state – without settlements and traces of economic activity, which retained a large number of rare protected species of animals and plants.
After the active activities of the landfill, the border that existed at that time could not prevent free use of forest gifts not only to citizens of Belarus, but also to neighboring Ukraine, to which Olmanskie swamps are so rich. And it would be okay if they treated the forest. But no: there were (and now have) illegal facts of poaching, including on animal species listed in the Red Book of Belarus. And what about their seasonal camps in island forests! Not only that after them there are always mountains of garbage – there have been cases when these camps became the cause of forest fires. The territory of the former landfill is now under tremendous anthropogenic pressure. The bog is actively rolling out in quad bikes, the berries are picked using forbidden combs. This leads to the development of succession processes in the vegetation cover of the swamp: there is a consistent and irreversible change from one biocenosis to another. That is, cranberries are getting smaller, but competing species are growing, for example, cotton grass and andromeda. There is still a high threat of uncontrolled fires that berry pickers can provoke by kindling bonfires for heating. And if we do not limit the process of active and uncontrolled picking of berries in the territory of the former landfill, then in the future we will lose these rich cranberries forever.
Dear residents and guests of the Stolin region, we remind you that harvesting cranberries in the Brest region is allowed from September 1. The main purpose of the decision is to preserve high-yielding berries, improve seed renewal, increase the profitability of harvesting.
For violation of the established deadlines, as well as the use of prohibited funds or methods of collecting (harvesting) forest gifts, in accordance with Article 15.26 of the Administrative Code of the Republic of Belarus, fines of up to twenty basic values are provided (currently, one basic value is 23 rubles). An individual entrepreneur faces a penalty of up to one hundred basic values, a legal entity – up to five hundred basic values.