Mixed mobility of FP students

  VIRTUAL PART OF VET STUDENT MIXED MOBILITY   Virtual mobility, implemended within VET students mix mobility, serves to complete and/or prolong learning outcomes of presential mobility and its main objective was to prepare, support and monitor the implementation of the presential mobility.

This activity was focused to students of the forestry, agriculture and/or environmental sector who wish to exchange experiences regarding the topics and methodology used in different EU countries regarding the non-wood forest sector.

  Following project partners participated in the Virtual mobility of NWF Network project:
  • Municipality of Cuadros, ES
  • Center republike slovenije za poklicno izobrazevanje javni zavod, SL
  • Karadeniz teknik universitesi, TR
  • CEDA, SK
  • University stefan cel mare Suceava, RO
  The duration of Virtual mobility: 15 days.

  The virtual mobility was implemented by means of NWF e-Learning course, developed by the partner organisation CEDA (SK), available at https://www.cedask.eu/elearning .

  It contains following modules, for development of content of each module specific project partner was responsible:

  • Medicinal, aromatic and spice plants: content prepared by CEDA (SK); this module also contains Good practice example “Herb Growing Practice in Slovenia”, prepared by partner CPI (SL)
  • Chestnut growing: content prepared by ADESPER (ES)
  • Stone pine: content prepared by Karadeniz University (TR)
  • Truffles: content prepared by USV- University Suceava (RO)
  The NWF e-Learning course also contains online evaluation tool: Evaluation of NWF Virtual Mobility, through which the students had the opportunity to evaluate different aspects of virtual mobility implementation.

  All the content is available in English language.

A month prior implementation of the face-to-face part of VET students mix mobility the NWF e-Learning course was created and the students were provided with detailed instructions how to access and complete the e-Learning course, also simple tutorial for NWF e-Learning course was created by partner organisation CEDA (SK) – attached file NWFtutorial.pdf.

  After the NWF e-Learning course completion, students filled in and submitted online Evaluation questionnaire of NWF Virtual Mobility.



11th-15th MAY 2018

CUADROS-León (Spain)


Students from:


CPI (Eslovenia):

– Gregor Kalan.

– Nika Pengal.

  CEDA (Slovakia):

– Martina Habanova

– Andrej Haban.

  USV (Romania):

– Marius Ivan.

– Lucian Cioaca.

    Monday, 11th  June:


Place: Residence Emilio Hurtado (LEÓN)

  Reception of the participants. From the coordinating partner, all the information and support of assistance was given to facilitate the accommodation of the participants.

Welcome to the participants and a brief introduction of the project.

    Tuesday, 12th June:   Place: Casa de Cultura de Lorenzana (CUADROS)   Official welcome by the president of the coordinating organization (Mayor of the Town Hall of Cuadros).

  Exposition of the activities carried out in the NWF Network project to the students, presentation of the website and Facebook, delivery of informative material and pedagogical material used in the course.

  Subsequently the students participate in an “Ice-breaking”, each participant will present herself. [Short icebreaker activity and thus participants know each other]. They are energizing activities that allow the trainer to activate the participants of a training session. In this case, the trainer wants to facilitate that the participants introduce themselves and get to know each other. Also increase the energy of the group helping to improve teamwork.

  After that, time for “Coffee Break”.

  This first session focused on the evaluation and discussion regarding the part of virtual mobility developed by students through the Moodle (CEDA). (Activity performed by students prior to attendance of training mobility).

    To finish the morning session, the trainer presents the brief introduction of the lectures prepared by the students about their personal experiences in the forestry sector, this will take place in the afternoon.

  Time to lunch (at local restaurant “El Rincón de Fon”, in charge of the coordinator Ayto. Cuadros).

The afternoon session was a space for the exchange of experiences.

[Each participant will have the opportunity and the space to share their experience with non-timber forest products, either professionally or personally.

15 min per participant, a total of 10 participants would be 2 and a half hours].

  Lucian Cioaca, from Suceava (Romania):

He have graduated the Faculty of Agriculture specialization Forestry at the University of Agronomic and Veterinary Sciences in Bucharest in 2017 and in 2018 he published my final project which is about NWFPs. And he continues to expand her studies in the forestry sector.

He presented his study about “The potential of Tulcea county as regards the non-wood forest products” in which they analyze 10 NWFPs contained in the categories Mushrooms, Understory plants, Tree products and Animal origin products – categories selected according to the model used in the European project COST FP1203 European Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFPS) Network. The study was published in “Current trends in natural sciences” http://natsci.upit.ro/.

The aim of this study was to highlight the most important non-wood forest products from Tulcea County.

The survey was carried out on a total number of 71 respondents, aged between 16 and 64, with a majority of higher degree holders, most of them living in urban areas.

The results showed that honey is the most widespread, the most used, the most appreciated, the most bought and the most preferred product. On the second place were situated the medicinal plants, on the third the forest fruits and on the last place the mushrooms from the spontaneous flora.

Participants in the study said that they use NWFPs mostly for culinary purposes, but also for their therapeutic properties, consuming products that are usually raw but also processed, with a weekly prevalence.

They prefer to purchase NWFPs from the local markets and individuals, choosing to buy products from Tulcea County, giving importance to the content and the way it was produced/processed, considering that the price was moderate, in the last year allocating between 100 and 500 lei for the products originating from the forests.

Questioning the respondents about the efficiency of harvesting NWFPs in Tulcea County showed a prevalence of the affirmative response. The result shows that the efficiency of harvesting NWFPs is roughly equally appreciated. The majority considered that the variety of NWFPs in Tulcea County is low.

  Nika Pengal, from Slovenia (CPI institute):

She is a beekeeper and apitherapist from Slovenia. And she continues to expand her studies in the forestry sector. Her innovative use of bee products has been recognised by kickstarters, as well as by apitherapy organisations and beekeeping associations in Slovenia, a centre of beekeeping tradition where the value of bees is perhaps recognised more than anywhere else in the world. She represents beekeepers from her local area at national fairs and beekeeping events. She is deeply involved in professional apitherapy, education, and advocation, but never more at home than when in the meadow, tending to my bees.

She told us in her presentation that she has around 100 beehives in containers that are suitable for travelling. This way she gets different types of honey that she needs for apitherapeutic work, bacause not every honey is appropriate for treating every dissease. She collects all of the beehive products such as honey, pollen, propolis, wax, apilarnil and royal jelly.

Beehouses are a Slovenian peculiarity. There are over 10 000 beehouses in Slovenia. They are traditionally made of wood, but also of bricks or stone. Beehouses prevent moisture from penetrating into the hives, which often allows the hives to remain in use for 50 years or more.

Most beekeepers in Slovenia keep their bees in AŽ- beehives. This hive is a solid, upright rectangular wooden box with a back door and the frames are accessed from behind. The comb frames are installed side by side with bee space in between. The inside of the hive is separated into two levels with the queen excluder. The lower level is called the brood chamber (where the queen bee and brood reside), whereas the upper level is called the honey chamber (used for honey storage). Bees leave the hive through the entrance hole in the lower front part of the hive. The landing board extending from the entrance hole protects the bees from strong wind and other weather conditions. AŽ-beehives are stacked and placed directly next to each other in a bee house.

Honey bees in Slovenia depend mainly on forest honeydew flow which is their most important food source. About 60% of Slovenian land is covered in forest, especially coniferous trees such as spruce, fir and pine. The nectar flow monitoring service was launched under the supervision of Anton Žnideršič, the inventor of the AŽ-beehive. The work of the service has been supervised by many acknowledged Slovenian experts, one of the most distinguished being prof. dr. Jože Rihar. A network of measuring stations monitoring the daily yield of honey was set up on different altitudes all over Slovenia. This service has been in operation uninterruptedly since 1901.

Apitherapy is a holistic method of healing. It means healing with bee products and shows us how to perform this kind of treatment to prevent health and once when we are already ill how to treat the desease with bee products. It helps in a way to help and strenghten the effects of pharmacological medicaments by improving the immune sistem. It needs to be introduced in our daily diet to support, nourish, preserve and revitalise our health, besides it helps quickly to faster recover if illness appear.

The traditional Slovenian love of bees, which is in inseparably connected to the conservation of the environment, is passed from one generation to another here.  Schools as well as beekeeping societies have beekeeping circles. At the initiative of our beekeepers, kindergarten and school children have been tasting honey at the traditional Slovenian breakfast for several years now.  The project of familiarizing children with typical homemade delicacies has spread from Slovenia across Europe and has grown into the European Honey Breakfast. This year, on May 20. we celebrated the very first World bee day, that was also the initiative of Slovenian beekeepers.

  Gregor Kalan, from Slovenia (CPI institute):   Gregor Kalan spoke about the experience of his family in the field of medicinal plants in Slovenia, closely related to the module related to this field in the Moodle created for the course. The students had the opportunity to compare their impressions regarding the theoretical module with the practical part that Gregor contributed.

He also brought with him a sample of the products that his family usually develops and sell, it was a nice present.

Wednesday, 13th June:   Place: Field trip. Study visits.   The third session of the training will consist of a study visit in a municipality a few kilometers away.   First study visit: Pinaster Cooperative.   Cooperative formed by 7 young entrepreneurs who want to develop aspects such as the extraction of resin, active tourism, micotourism, routes linked to the environment and generate an economic activity focused from a point of view to environmental sustainability and betting on the natural and ecological.

The economic activity that we carry out in this Cooperative are forestry services (agricultural-forestry), environmental services, mycological itineraries, environmental workshops.

Alejandro, the representative of the cooperative, opened the morning with a guided tour of the Mycological Interpretation Center exhibition: during the visit to the exhibition, explanations of the informative content of the panels were made and an exchange of impressions was promoted in response to the doubts that were raised along the itinerary.


The Mycological Interpretation Center offers several mycological routes that cover all the existing habitats in the area. The groups go to the mountain accompanied by a mycological guide that will train them in good harvesting practices and show them the interrelation between the environment and the fungi. Once the route is finished, it will be studied and classified in the M.I.C.

The center also has a classroom and didactic material to teach courses, lectures and conferences not only related to mycology but also to other topics related to nature and the region.

In addition, school activities are carried out: childhood is the best time to learn and acquire good practices in relation to mycology and the mountain. In the mycological center different activities are carried out, in which children can develop their knowledge about mycology (games, interactive screens, field trips, etc.).

  After that, we were outdoor, in the surroundings of the Center, in a pine forest. These pines are Pinus pinaster, the species of pine from which the resin is made.

Resin is an organic secretion produced by many plants, particularly conifer trees. It is highly valued for its chemical properties and its associated uses, such as the production of varnishes, adhesives and food additives. In addition to hygiene and beauty products, all those of a biodegradable nature, such as air fresheners, contain resin.

All this comes from the rosin, one of the two benefits of the resin, which is solid, because the turpentine is the other, the liquid. “Any product that you can imagine of everyday life has rosin because it is a very important aroma fixer, it is also a common constituent of perfumes or incense. In many countries, including Spain, it is common to refer to the “resin” as “pine resin” since this conifer is its main source, the pine resin they work in their area is the “Pinus Pinaster”.


In the picture, Alejandro explains to the students the extraction method. “Method of bark pike”. Some students told how other extractive methods were used in their territories.   At the end of the morning, The whole group made a small guided walk by the representative of the cooperative through the nearby forest until the next stop: a cooperative-restaurant in the locality.

Second study visit: Del Monte de Tabuyo. A cooperative of women who process forest and local products, the restaurant Comedor del Monte is part of their economic activity.

Time to lunch. Restaurant Comedor del Monte.   After lunch, the students toured to the facilities Del Monte de Tabuyo.   The company is dedicated to making available to the consumer, in different ways, the products that, whether grown or collected, are taken from the local territory. His concern is to offer handmade products that result in preserves and high quality dishes. For this they have based their work on the absolute control of the production process. They are the ones who sow, cultivate, collect and cook all the products. Thus, they control their products from sowing until they are packaged or served on the plate.

  The company consists of two parts:

  1. Manufacturing and Packaging
  Tasting of delicious delicacies, made with traditional conservation recipes, in your own home.

2.Restaurant   People can taste, in their beautiful restaurant, all these products of their own environment. They have a variety of dishes that combine traditional cuisine and research with spectacular results.

  At the end of the afternoon, the students return to the city (León). The rest of the day is free time for students to rest and to have the opportunity to know the city for themselves.

    Thursday, 14th June:

  Place: Field trip. Study visits.

  The fourth session of the training will consist of a study visits in the Bierzo, a region of the province with climatological and ecosystemic particularities that make it different from the rest of the territory.

  First study visit:

Pharmadus (company dedicated to medicinal plants).

  It is a European pharmaceutical laboratory specialized in the packaging of plants in infusion that also has the sanitary measures required for the manufacture of chemical drugs.

The company’s products are divided into 3 main lines:

The first line of products that appeared was MANASUL (inherited from “Infusiones La Leonesa”), a selection of plants whose exclusive formula helps regulate intestinal transit.

Subsequently appear the HELPS line products that facilitate a healthy lifestyle, taking care of health with traditional remedies made modern through phytotherapy.

The line of products LATETERAZUL is the most recent appearance, this line is made to enjoy aromas and flavors.

Maria Ángeles Herráez, technical director, Chief Quality & Regulatory Officer (CQRO) (Responsible for quality, certifications, regulatory affairs and R + D + i) receives us in the facilities.

She started the the visit to present us the history, ecosystem and values of the Company. Also she told us about the expertise in quality and innovation of Pharmadus Botanicals.

We had the opportunity to attend a small experiment where Maria Angeles showed us the different how the quality can vary in different products. He showed us, taking some of the commercial brands that we can find in the market of medicinal plants, in this case the chamomile in infusion, the low and high qualities that we can consume.

After this illustrative experiment, the group of students accompanied by the technician, go into the laboratory facilities. We visit the different parts from the entrance of the raw material (medicinal plants) to the final product output, observing all the steps that the product follows within the dependencies.

      Next stop, in Balboa a village located at the foot of the Sierra de Ancares, with an extension of 51 square kilometers and an average altitude of 950 meters.

Life in the valley is linked inseparably to the difficult and leafy territory that defines it, with steep slopes and a great forest wealth. Villages lying on the slopes of the mountains, separated by small valleys, integrated into a varied arboreal landscape dominated by chestnut groves and abundant and spontaneous oak woods.

  Time to lunch, in a traditional restaurant. The menu consists of typical dishes from the area.

  Second study visit:

Castañas Ribada and Oricera.

  Family business its activity consists to buy premium fresh chestnuts from local producers and sell them in national and international markets.

They use native Bierzo chestnuts known as the “De Parede” variety for the preparation of flours. Its main characteristics are its richness in sugars and its easy peeling. This characteristic product of the area is the main responsible for the variety of products they offer.

They complete the offer with another range of products made with El Bierzo fruits, both cultivated and wild, without any preservatives or additives. They use quality fruits and at their point of maturation and we only add sugars.

Enrique and Ana, the owners of the company, receive us in the establishment they built in a very traditional way and with chestnut wood.

All the students sit in a circle and listen attentively to the history of this rural family and their commitment and effort to stay in the region with a sustainable and local business.

  They tell us how difficult it is to develop a business in rural areas and in the forestry sector, which is very neglected in the area, as they express it. They talk with the students about the problems of infections and plagues that this forest species suffers, all of them express their concern and how this fact is experienced in their different countries of origin.

The family invites students to a craft beer nut, a new and innovative product developed. A circle of discussion about the forestry sector, chestnut trees, climate change and the rural problem of depopulation is encouraged.

    On the way back to the lodging city, the group is driven to an emblematic city of the province.

  Cultural Visit in Astorga.

The capital of the Maragatería is one of the most famous and emblematic places in all of León. With just over 11,000 inhabitants, it has a historical and artistic heritage that is hard to match, which has made it one of the most touristic places in the province.

Destroyed and reconstructed several times, from its birth as castro ligur, in it survive remains of its Roman splendor mixed with buildings that show its importance in medieval times, which became the crossing point of the Vía de la Plata and the Camino de Santiago.

  At the end of the afternoon, the students are invited by the coordinator a common dinner in a great restaurant near to Astorga, in Veguellina de Órbigo.

  Friday, 15th June:


Place: Casa de Cultura de Lorenzana (CUADROS)


Last session of the training.

The trainer provided a space for discussion and share impressions regarding visits made in the previous two days.

  The students filled out an evaluation questionnaire, which was the following:

The students answer the questions within a range of satisfaction ranging from 1 to 5, with 1 being less satisfactory and 5 being very satisfactory.   The first part of the evaluation it was about a general questions about activity:  
  • Have the objectives of the program been achieved at this stage?
  • Are you satisfied with the design of the didactic unit and the training modules of the MOODLE platform.
  • Do you consider your participation satisfactory to the project?
  • How do you evaluate the participation and the interest of the social institutions about activities to the project?
  • How do you evaluate the impact of project actions in your country?
  In general, this part is highly valued with an average of 4 in all its questions. The students are very interested in the project and very satisfied with their participation in both the online and face-to-face part.   The second part is about the face-to-face mobility activity, is divided in different parts.   – Classroom sessions- – Field trip: good practise exchange:
  • Organization of the day.
  • Impressions about the field trips.
  Classroom sessions:
  • Are you satisfied with the agenda for classroom sesion?
  • Are you satisfied with the content of classroom sesion?
  • Are you satisfied with the participation of students in the classroom sesion?
        In general, they are very satisfied with the agenda and the content of the sessions with an average of 5, however they are a little less satisfied with the participation of them in the classroom session, with an average of 4. Field trip: good practise exchange:   In this part of the questionnaire, there is two kind of consideration:  
  1. About the content, the agenda and participation, as in the case of classroom sessions.
Again the satisfaction range goes from 4 to 5, for the first field trip, in Tabuyo del Monte. And the same for the second field trip to the Bierzo region.  
  1. Impressions about the field trips.
  • What are your impressions of what was learned during this visit?
The students have valued knowing the practical issues of the processes in the non-timber forest sector, consider that they help to better understand how the businesses in this field work. Knowing local producers drives an opening of horizons, taking into account new focus on the same process. Some of them know similar examples in their regions of origin, and see how it is done in another country has been enriching.  
  • What has contributed to your knowledge of the forestry sector to know Pinaster/ Del monte de Tabuyo/ Pharmadus/ Castañas Ribada, la Oricera?
Knowing the resins has been very interesting in many cases, they did not know the method or they knew a different one (Pinaster). Observe how the circular, local and proximity economy greatly promotes rural / local development. And as it is key the cooperation and the diversification of activities to be strong and stable in the market. They are an inspiring example (Del monte de Tabuyo). Some students were really interested in medicinal plants and they found it very revealing how they work in this field with high quality standards. However, some students have also considered an example that does not provide, perhaps, an innovation to the local and sustainable spirit contemplated in their country (Pharmadus). Again, the importance of the circular, local and proximity market as a key driver in the promotion of rural/local development, important for the settlement of population in rural areas with a large forest mass (Ribada).  
  • How relevant is this visit to you?
The level of relevance of the visits, again vary in the range of 4 to 5.     To finish the training activity, after the evaluation, the closing ceremony of mixed mobility. They are given a certificate of attendance.   Departure of all students to their places of origin. From the coordinating partner, all the information and assistance support was given to facilitate the return home of the participants.    


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