The weather was generally good, though on the 3rd of September, when the Rzeszów branch of national tourism association organised a walk across the Magura National Park, they had to hide form the rain.
The horseshoe, busy visiting its German cousins (Hufeisenanse) could not manage to return in time to take part in the Bat Night in the Stara Morawa lime kiln.
However, a week later it was very active at the 1st Bat Festival in Jerzmanowice. During the event, PTPP “pro Natura” handed over the Horseshoe Land Quality Sign to the school in Jerzmanowice for their dozen year long involvement into promotion of bats, nature trips, running young naturalist groups, presentations, lectures, meetings on bat conservation, and their bat climbing wall!
Visitors to the 1st Bat Festival could participate in the pottery workshops, lectures on the lesser horseshoe bat, use of bat motives in Art (presented by Wojciech Sanek), region’s geology (Piotr Freiwald). The dance group SK-ART performed a bat dance. Interested may have climbed the rope ladder or take part in culinary contest. “Earthenware Horseshoe” statues designed by Ms Barbara Zgoda from the “Ceramika bez granic” (pl: pottery without boundaries) Association. Selection of other ceramic handicrafts depicting bats were available too.
The same weekend, on Sunday, horseshoe bat was an important part of the Family Bicycle Race, that was organised across the Borough of Korzenna. Despite bad weather, the participants, including 7 young kids, made the Korzenna – Mogilno – Korzenna tour. At the final destination, there were the lesser horseshoe lectures and quizzes with attractive prizes.
Subsequent weekend, the horseshoe visited Wysowa, where there was the annual Milk Cap Festival. The horseshoe spent its day on the information stand and in the evening it moved to the nearby Blechnarka to talk about the lesser horseshoe bat, and show how the bats fly out for their night hunting.
The village of Górki Wielkie, was the last stop for the horseshoe bat promotional tour in September. Last day of September, the “Dwór Kossaków” Art Centre (Kossak manor house, after the artistic family of Kossaks, renown for painters) hosted the Bat Power event. It was organised by Zofia Kossak Foundation in cooperation with the PTPP “pro Natura” and its Land of the Horseshoe programme, Dziewięćsił (pl: carline thistle) Association and the Górki Naturalist Club association.
There were various attractions for the kids and adults. Several animations and plays made the young busy over the day. Three lectures by bat specialists, informed the audience about the bats, and their life in Górki and elsewhere. It was also possible to see and hear the bats during the evening walk across the Kossak’s Park with ultrasonic detector.
During the Bat Power event there was also a ceremony to recognise the bat friendly activities of individuals and institutions. The Horseshoe Land Quality Sign was handed over to the Municipality of Brenna, and to the Zofia Kossak Foundation for their involvement in education on nature, promotion of bats and their positive image in the local community. The Golden Horseshoe, a medal for individual persons, went this time to rev. Krzysztof Pacyga, Parish in Górki, and Jan and Urszula Gawłowski, who take care for an old mill in Pierściec. Both the Mill in Pierściec and the church in Górki are designated as Natura 2000 sites, as the lesser horseshoe bats must be protected, as demanded by the EU Habitat Directive.
More information about the horseshoe events may be found on the Facebook fan-page Kraina Podkowca, however mostly in Polish language.