New demonstration dry toilet and a demonstration site for the disposal of manure will be established at the ranch "Golden horseshoe" in the Gatchina district of the Leningrad region

22 мая 2018 эксперты ООО «Экоцентрум» совместно с РЭОО «Друзья Балтики» побывали на ранчо «Золотая подкова» в д. Сокколово Гатчинского района и исследовали содержание нитратов в близлежащих родниках и колодцах.

May 22 experts of Ecocentrum Ltd together with Friends of the Baltic NGO has visited the ranch "Golden horseshoe" in the village Chernovo of Gatchina district and examined the contents of nitrates in nearby springs and wells.

The place for demonstration of ecological approaches to wastewater and farm waste treatment is chosen specially. The environmental issues and ideas of greening of household are very close to the owner of the ranch Svetlana Volnitckaya. Svetlana and her family conduct different activities - farming, agricultural tourism, keeping of animals rescued from death – they have a zoo with more than 20 species. In addition, Svetlana is engaged in social projects (hippotherapy for children with disabilities), develops social entrepreneurship in the Gatchina district (the first charity shop in the Leningrad region was created by her hands). Svetlana has the aim of development of organic farming. The ranch is also a venue for festivals and meetings with leaders of other social and environmental projects. 100-200 people a day gather on the events.

In April of this year Svetlana participated in the educational tour for farmers of the Leningrad region for environmentally safe disposal of animal waste, organized by Ecocentrum Ltd and Friends of the Baltic NGO. The knowledge gained during the tour inspired the owner of the ranch to implement such solutions, because Svetlana plans to build a dairy farm with 100 dairy goats on the territory of the ranch in the nearest future. The owners have concreted the area for the storage of manure. And with the help of specialists of Ecocentrum Ltd and experts of the agricultural Universities of St. Petersburg the owners plan to not only introduce new methods of storing manure on the farm, but also to create a platform for the dissemination of experiences among farmers from other districts of the Leningrad region, the authorities and everyone. Svetlana sure that it is especially important to show examples of competent waste management of livestock for small farms with a population of up to 50 heads, because among the farms of the Leningrad region such a majority.

Also, the ranch area will become a new demonstration site for the installation of the fourth dry toilet within the framework of the project "Local solutions for reducing the nutrient load into the Baltic sea" and the Barents Baltic Nature and People Programme.

The first demonstration dry toilet was installed in the Fauna gardening community of Lomonosov district in Leningrad region The second and third are installed and ready to receive visitors in the village of Kaikino of Volosovsky district and in the village of Stavotino of Luga district in Leningrad region.

All toilets are designed to disseminate information on the possibilities of reducing the human impact on the water bodies of the Luga river basin and small rivers of the Gulf of Finland southern shore. All established dry toilets are of different types - with separate collection of waste, compost toilet and dry toilet with filtration. Such feature is important for demonstrating the operation of these types of dry toilets in different areas and in different conditions.

The opening of the toilet at the ranch "Golden horseshoe" is scheduled for mid-June. The toilet will be installed next to the arena for hippotherapy and a platform for meetings and celebrations. The toilet can also be visited by people with reduced mobility, a ramp is a mandatory element of the toilet. A composter will be installed nearby. Currently, the ranch presents two types of treatment facilities for private farms - installed and septic tank, and a bio-cleaning station. The dry toilet will be a replacement of the toilet with a cesspool, which is now also actively used at the ranch during the mass events. New toilet will serve as a platform for demonstrating environmentally friendly solutions for the disposal of waste toilet.

The experts of Ecocentrum Ltd and Fiends of the Baltic NGO has been using nitrate tests to measure the concentration of nitrates in nearby water bodies: in the well on the farm, in the river Paritsa on the territory of the village Sokkolovo, in the springs of the Lesnoe gardening community and of the village Korpicovo, where the locals and residents of nearby villages take drinking water. In the most popular spring in Forest gardening community nitrate concentration exceeds 45-50 mg/l – this is the border of maximum permissible concentration! Drinking such water is highly undesirable, especially for young children and the elderly. All the results of sampling will be put onto the map of public observations of water bodies, which is now being created for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region within the Barents Baltic Nature and People Programme.