culture and customs
family life
social relationships

introducing the area

environmental knowledge

 quotes about environmental knowledge
 key testimonies featuring environmental knowledge

Many narrators observed that one of the most valuable aspects of life in the Klodzko Valley was the close contact with nature. Several have quite extensive knowledge of the local environment, and the testimonies are particularly rich in detail about local forestry, hunting and beekeeping. Some noted that certain plants no longer flourish locally. People stressed the importance of diversity within the forest, citing how the impact of industrial pollution had been exacerbated by the policy of planting predominantly spruce, which is particularly vulnerable to acid rain. More than a few felt that the severity of the 1997 flood had been a warning that their relationship with the environment had to change.

Two narrators are enthusiastic beekeepers. They believe recent changes in the climate have led to the spread of disease and this coupled with the falling price of honey means "there are no prospects for beekeeping to develop nowadays". A few narrators are also knowledgeable hunters. Like beekeeping, it was an activity that had absorbed them since childhood. One man noted, "I think hunting was what I inherited from my ancestors, my grandfather was a hunter too . it's probably in the genes." The hunters follow certain regulations: "shooting just for the sake of shooting is not what I'm into. It's like murder. Any time that I hunt, I shoot just males, I don't shoot females as a rule. I usually try to shoot the weaker specimens" (Poland 12).

quotes about environmental knowledge

""I think that this flood here and all that happened as a result of irresponsible policies, in the former years, it should be a warning to us, that we have to prepare a new model of functioning and farming in the mountains, and generally - existing here.""
Zbigniew, M/52, district council member, Poland 7

""My grandfather was a beekeeper, my father was a beekeeper, and I've been a beekeeper since my childhood, since I had the first opportunity to keep bees . it's only the Poles who respect bees . All those Alps are covered in lavender, they manufacture lavender oils, perfumes, eau de cologne and so on . they are robbers, not beekeepers. Here, a beekeeper waits for the honey to be good, and only then the honey is collected.""
Wladyslaw, M/72, pensioner/beekeeper, Poland 24

""You have to have a lot of free time for hunting, unfortunately. I didn't like to go and sit there at night. Waiting for the game, the way other hunters do. I don't like it. I like going out to get a specific one. Usually it was a wild boar. The best time is at dawn, at daybreak. You had to walk along the forest edge, from the side of the field. You could meet a fox or a wild boar or a roe-deer, on their way back to the forest from the field . the fox came to me, as if to say 'Good Morning' to me.""
Stanislaw, M/81, retired forester, Poland 16

key testimonies featuring environmental knowledge

  No.   Name   Sex/Age   Occupation   Location  
Summary Transcript   1   Maria   female/76   pensioner   Szczawina  
Summary Transcript   11   Maria   female/63   former farmer   Wilkanów  
Summary Transcript   12   Jan   male/60   former baker/hunter   Bystrzyca Klodzka  
Summary Transcript   15   Stanislaw   male/86   army officer   Bystrzyca Klodzka  
Summary Transcript   16   Stanislaw   male/81   retired forester   Miedzylesie  
Summary Transcript   22   Krzysztof   male/60   scientist   Stronie  
Summary Transcript   24   Wladyslaw   male/72   pensioner/beekeeper   Międzylesie  
Summary Transcript   27   Miroslaw   male/70   retired forestry engineer   Bystrzyca Klodzka  
Summary Transcript   30   Kazimierz   male/45   forester   Strachocin