Wild Carpathia - Filming the Last Untouched European Wilderness

By Julian Jackson - 28 Oct 2011 13:41:0 GMT
Wild Carpathia - Filming the Last Untouched European Wilderness

Wild Carpathia is a stunning documentary about a little-known part of Europe. Romania has a huge virtually-untouched area of mountains almost the size of Britain. It is the heavily-forested home to some of Europe's most exciting species, including alpine Chamois, and particularly large carnivores like Brown Bears, Wolves and the elusive Lynx. Much of the area is a time-capsule with an almost-medieval life-style.

But there's a catch. You knew there would be, didn't you? The trees are highly valuable and are being felled by illegal logging. Young people do not want to live a harsh, farming lifestyle and migrate away to the cities. The beautiful ecosystem is also under threat from industrial agriculture and mining.

Wild Carpathia takes you deep into these Transylvania forests and mountains. Presented by Charlie Ottley, it follows his quest to find remote villages, cross mountains and spot bears in the wild. During this journey he meets a dedicated group of individuals whose passion for this area is helping to redefine its importance as one of the great surviving wonders of the natural world. These include a Transylvanian Count, who is working to conserve some of the most ancient of Carpathia's medieval villages and HRH The Prince of Wales, who can trace his ancestry back to Romania's dark and distant past. "The genealogy shows I am descended from Vlad the Impaler, so I do have a bit of a stake in the country," he tells Charlie.

Charlie says, "Wild Carpathia is unique because we were able to show this spectacular region in a way it has never been seen before. With the help of local support, heli footage and special permission to film restricted sites like the Dacian ruins of Sarmisegetuza, or Prince Charles' guest house in Zalanpatak, we have created a snapshot in time of one of the Europe's most endangered ecosystems."

Marvellous footage of brown bears foraging and high mountain fields of wild daffodils are just some of this highlights of this film. A ray of light is the opportunity for sensitive eco-tourism. This would provide additional income to the local Romanians, while putting pressure on the authorities to protect the area.

Charlie continues, "The idea was always to showcase the fragile beauty and magic of this medieval landscape, it's heritage and its wildlife but also to explain how and why it is under threat. We wanted to highlight the Carpathians to the world as a stunning destination for outdoor activities, adventure sports, cultural and eco-tourism but also wake Romanians up to the fact that this vast expanse of mountains and forest which is sitting right in their back yard, urgently needs to be protected or continued exploitation will lead to the total destruction of our last great wilderness."

The film is sponsored by The European Nature Trust (TENT) created by ecological facilitator Paul Lister, to protect and restore threatened wilderness, wild habitats, and the wildlife living within them. Their objective is to have a large National Park created in this location, which would preserve its beauty and wildlife.

Charlie sums up, "The film is already making a difference - the trailer alone has had over sixty thousand hits and is having a huge impact in Romania engendering a sense of national pride and a growing backlash against the reckless and illegal logging operations, the ore and mineral exploitation that continues unchecked throughout the Carpathians."

Wild Carpathia will be transmitted on the Travel Channel in the UK on 30th October and in other regions, as well as being available on DVD.


Travel Channel - Wild Carpathia

The European Nature Trust

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Topics: Wildlife