On the first day of the XX. Junior Eco-Expert Project six teams started their work after the official opening of the week. There was a short introduction by the host school and the teams were formed.
Team 1 ( Methods, means and challenges in environmental conservation in the Tokaj-Hegyalja Wine Region as a World Heritage Cultural Landscape) started the day with an introductory lecture on the Tokaj-Bodrogzug landscape protection area and Bükk National Park. Later they went trekking on Tokaj Hill.
Team 2 (Soil quality and its influence on wine quality) discussed the aims and the methods and they collected soil samples in the afternoon.
Team 3 (Sylviculture and wild life management of the Zemplén Mountain Ranges and the Bodrogzug) fprmed smaller groups and began with preparations for the professional work and they had to do a presentation about wildlife in their country. They listened to a lecture by Ferenc Gazdag PhD and in the afternoon the discussed the lecture. To close the day , they prepared their work of the next day’s field practice (species and geographical features of Sárospatak region). After all this they played activities. We enjoyed it and we are looking forward the next day.
Team 4 (The erosion of loess soil in the World Heritage Tokaj-Hill) went to Tarcal by train. Later, we went to the foot of the Tokaj mountain, where the monument Áldó Krisztus is located. Later, we visited the Tarcala Bányató lake. At this point, there used to be very active volcanoes. On the slopes around the lake are rocks formed from the eruption of volcanoes, which is why you can notice the lava flows on the slopes. Rocks, although they look stable, can sleep at any time, which is why there are warnings around them. At the lake we had a history lesson about the creation of the lake and the surrounding area. After the history lesson, we set out on a rather tiring crossing through the surrounding forest, we reached the top of the mountain where the telecommunications tower was located. We also ate lunch with beautiful views of the area. After a 20-minute break for lunch, we set out again to reach the nearby Tokaj-Hétszőlő vineyard. The vineyard manager told us the short history of the vineyard and the problems that they have to face each year due to the local soil. We also learned that the cost of preparing the soil for growing such a large number of grape trees amounted to several million euros.
Team 5 (The introduction of Tokaj Culture Region through history) took a bus tour to the Research Centre in Tarcal and to the Mád Zeolit Ltd. Then they visited the Synagogue and the Rabbi’s house. In the afternoon they visiting the Roman Catholic Church of Bodrogkeresztúr, the Bocskai cellar and the bend of the river Bodrog.
Team 6 (Investments in tourism of Tokaj World Heritage Site) firstly visited the “Helia-D Herba-kastély”. This was an old house now owned by the Helia-D company. They had a lot of herbs and beauty products to buy. Also they renewed the whole building, except the furniture, this was bought, but not the original one. Old original paintings, bookshelves and an old music player were still in the house too. After that, we visited the Wine Women Association. There we could taste a sweet, white, Tokaji wine. Then we were able to see the wine production and we went into the wine cellar and saw the big and valuable collection of white wines and champagne.In the afternoon we were able to listen to a lecture about the Tokaj wine region, held from two men of the Tokaj world heritage office. This also was very interesting.
The official program of the was closed by Gergely Somogyi who made a very interesting presentation of the Past, Present and Future of Tokaj Wine Region Historic Cultural Landscape. He talked about the 500 years of history of the region from the the Golden age of Tokaj through the crisis and decline in the 1950s to the revival in the early 1990s. He also explained what botrytisation or Aszú method is. He mentioned what challenges and opportunities this region faces as a World Heritage Site, what recent developments took place and what struggles it has. He closed his lecture with an overall positive and a vision for Tokaj.
A very adventurous program closed the day for the participant. They went treasure hunting in Tokaj to discover sight and hidden places of Tokaj.
Hopefully the second day of the week will be also very fruitful and interesting.

Media team: Mateusz Kucz , Szymon Sztwiertnia , Liam Piuk , Jakob Klabischnig , Havlíček Vojtěch , Kubalová Lucie , Pflugová Eliška , Spisák Panna Kincső, Vörös Vivien