Romania’s untamed mountains are threatened by logging. Can the ‘wildlands philanthropists’ save them?Read more
We first visited Romania in 2011 and discovered a garden of Eden. Unspoiled villages, pristine forests and ecosystems, a place where man has lived in harmony with nature since the dawn of time. There is nowhere else like it in Europe and so to help keep it that way, we made a film celebrating its beauty and showing the world with the aim that tourism might provide a viable alternative to wholesale destruction from illegal logging and insensitive development.
We paid for the film ourselves in the hope that it might inspire people to take better care of their natural resources and protect this legacy for future generations. It captured people’s imagination and to our amazement the Romanian government sponsored two further episodes featuring the Danube Delta, Europe’s largest wetland, the Maramures and the rich history of Moldavia. We showed Romania’s wonderful cultural heritage and the changing splendour of its seasons. But we only told part of the story.
For almost half the year much of this incredible wilderness is covered in snow and ice. So we decided to make one more: White Carpathia; where we revisit during the winter and see how man and nature survives the long months of freezing Siberian conditions. Our aim is to show, once again why Romania is a place to visit, all year round and to give another vital insight into ancient traditions and priceless landscapes. We have already raised almost 50,000€, over a third of our production budget, from foreign charities and individuals whose only interest is to help us protect Romania’s rural heritage. Now we need your help. We paid for the first episode; the government financed the next two, now we are asking the Romanian people to match what we’ve already been given so we can complete the series. This one’s for you and it would be a triumphant end to Wild Carpathia, if our last episode, which is made for Romania and will air in Romania first, was also sponsored by its people. It will also send a message to the world, that we care about the forests and that we won’t tolerate further destruction of these priceless habitats by foreign companies intent on milking Romania until they have bled it dry of its natural resources and left nothing but a barren and desolate wasteland behind them.
The original Wild Carpathia gives you a unique insight into the beauty and rich culture of Romania exploring its chequered history from the mystical ruins of the Dacians to its medieval communities, many of which survive intact to this day. Presenter Charlie Ottley goes in search of ancient villages, crossing mountains, forests and alpine meadows in his quest to understand this vital region. Along the way he encounters counts, wild bears, shepherds, artists, environmentalists, craftsmen and even a Prince.
Wild Carpathia captures the fragile glory of Europeís last surviving wilderness and shows why it needs to be preserved for the benefit of future generations and the survival of our most endangered carnivores.
Join us for a cultural odyssey through little known parts of the southern Carpathians starting at the majestic Iron Gates and the ancient Roman Spa town of Baile Herculane. Writer and presenter Charlie Ottley explores the remote Cerna Mountains finding historic working mills, and legendary rock formations.
On our journey east we stop at a boutique winery and the stunning Cosia National Park with its grottos and picturesque monasteries. Crossing Saxon Transylvania Charlie visits the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler and meets a Romanian Princess at her ancestral home, majestic Peles Castle.
In the second part we leave the mountains behind and meander down to the Danube where it branches to form the largest wetland in Europe. Here Charlie explores tiny fishing communities, fragile forests and labyrinthine waterways teeming with rare birdlife. We also see why this vital ecosystem is under threat and look at what is being done to preserve it.
Episode 3 takes us to Northern Romania and the Maramures - one of the most picturesque regions in Romania. Here we experience festivals and weddings and learn about the evolution of traditional folk music with renowned singer Grigore Lese and pop idol Loredana Groza. We visit historic wooden churches and villages, which have been preserved, despite the march to modernise.
Presenter Charlie Ottley explores the wilderness by steam train and on foot through Caliman National Park and the mysterious Twelve Apostles. Further east we drop in on a scheme to rewild Buffalo and visit the incredible painted monasteries of Bucovina before heading south to see whatís being done to protect the ancient forests of Transylvania.
En route Charlie meets a number of local and internationally acclaimed characters and looks at ways tourism is helping to preserve natural habitats. Wild Carpathia 3 finishes with some enlightened words from HRH The Prince of Wales who once again describes his passion for Romania and the urgent need to protect its rural heritage.