What brought me here and why did I stay?

Paul & FoxyMy first introduction to Transylvania came in 1993 when I joined an aid convoy delivering medical equipment to a hospital in the town of Kézdivásárhely (Târgu Secuiesc). I was only there for a week but I knew instantly that I would return. An intriguing combination of rural Székely life/culture and their relationship with the environment stirred my interest.

I returned a month later and stayed for more than a year. Initially I was based at the same hospital where I delivered aid to, but eventually moved to the village of Ozsdola on the invitation of Dr Turóczi Ildikó. She was an experienced general practitioner in a small village practice in the foothills of the Carpathian mountains. It was during this time that I met many villagers who kindly invited me into their homes and took me on trips to the mountains.

Many people have asked me over the years, what is so interesting about the forests in Transylvania? The answer to this question is very simple. It was and has been my only experience of an intact ecosystem from top (apex predators) to bottom (invertebrates). My previous experiences in the woods had been in Norfolk (UK) where I grew up as a child, with occasional glimpses of wildlife and their activity such as foxes and badgers. Here in Transylvania there are bears, wolves, lynx, beaver, European wildcat, black woodpeckers, golden eagle, to name just a few. When walking through forests here it is hard to describe those deep, primeval feelings that are stirred inside, knowing that a predator could be standing just around the bend on the same forest trail.

I have documented a lot of what I see around me and hopefully this website will offer the reader useful insight into this unique corner of Europe.