By Chris Elliott….
Visitors to Taşkent Nature Park when approaching it from the village will be greeted by the sight of a very impressive group of buildings in a compound just in front of the amazing huge TRNC mountainside flag. This is the Taşkent Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre.
Each year, hundreds of wild animals are treated and rehabilitated by the Taşkent Nature Park and released back into the wild. It conducts environmental and wildlife awareness workshops and projects. These projects are funded by income generated from the Taskent Picnic Area, Selvi Restaurant, the Activity Site and from donations.
CYPRUS WILDLIFE RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Founded in 2016, the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (WRRC), the Cyprus Marinelife Centre (CMC), and the Wildlife Hospital and Research Laboratory (WHRL) came together under the Cyprus Wildlife Research Institute (CWRI) in 2018. The CWRI carries out research projects and fieldwork regarding wildlife conservation and habitat protection.
Group visits to the Taşkent Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre can be made by prior arrangement and a donation is requested to help support the amazing amount of work being carried out there but it should be noted that photography is not permissible as often the taking of photos of animals and wildlife can disturb them and this is not helpful to their treatment and rehabilitation.
To arrange a visit please contact Martin Marancos 0548 811 1186 for English speaking visitors
Ulaş Şeherlioğlu 0548 811 1150 for Turkish speaking visitors
Whilst writing it was interesting to note a group visit was made this week by the Royal British Legion, Kyrenia Branch (RBL) and they will have come away spellbound by what they saw.
For those visiting the Taşkent Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, they will drive down an unmade road crossing over an old stone quarry which it is planned at some time in the future to be turned into a giant aviary in which birds are able to fly. This building will be approached through an entrance tunnel under the approach road.
Now we can see clearly the various buildings within the compound and without doubt, the Donkey Sanctuary on the right just outside will be a firm favourite including the first donkey brought there whose name I understand, is “Donkey”
As you drive in through the high fences being erected you will see a huge building on the right which is under construction and this will be used for storage, breeding quarters (quails/mice/rats) and climate-controlled rooms for proper reptile care.
Just behind this on the right is a car parking area plus the Cyprus Marinelife Centre (CMC) with its huge green tanks in which rescued sea turtles are being treated and recuperating before being released back into the sea.
In the centre there is a group of buildings accessed through a double door and into a courtyard and on the left is a large building currently being used as a free flight room for recuperating birds.
The centre building is most fascinating as on entering the first thing you see a number of cages or containers containing rescued mammals, birds or reptiles.
Nearby is a clinic where animals, birds and reptiles are treated and there are a number of isolation rooms where many birds and animals are being treated and rehabilitated in an area where they will not be disturbed.
Finally, there is the administration room where so much work is carried out to keep this amazing place functioning.
Stepping outside now we see on the right a large new building which is being fitted out with equipment to very high standards and will house the animal hospital and research centre and to the rear of this is a large aviary housing birds of prey that due to their injuries can no longer live in the wild so have become permanent residents..
One of the services offered by the centre is the 1190 Wildlife Support LIne and I have seen many people commenting on social media that following a call to this number volunteers have collected and removed wildlife which is in an unwelcome situation.
This helpline is only for wild animals in danger, not street animals which can be helped by contacting other NGOs.
Just looking around there is so much to do with more features to be created in this amazing place but it will take time and money and this is where we can all help by making a donation to help conserve and protect our wildlife and we can also spend many a happy day enjoying the following :
The unique views of nature and its panoramic views of Nicosia, seems to enhance the flavour of the food. Located within the picnic area, the Selvi Restaurant offers a variety of choices such as breakfasts, shared platters, kebabs, vegetarian options and children’s menus to choose from.
With the Besparmak mountains on one side and the Mesaoria plain on the other, you are invited to spend time in nature on the terrace and balcony. Also located on site is a conference room with a seating capacity of 100 people where events such as seminars, workshops, conferences and educational activities can be held.
TAŞKENT PICNIC AREA
With a capacity of 3000 people and wheelchair friendly parking, paths, toilets and playground with a further 2 playgrounds, shop and buffet, it is the exemplary picnic area on our island.
PANAGIA APSINTHIOTISSA MONASTERY
The Panagia Apsinthiotissa Monastery is the first thing that comes to mind when speaking about Taskent. It lies to the east of the Taskent Picnic Area. The original structure is thought to have been built as a chapel in the 11th Century by the Byzantines and was added to in the 14th Century by the Lusignans.
Apsinthiotissa is derived from the Artemisia absinthium (wormwood) plant and traces of frescos can be seen on the inner walls.
Located on the Kyrenia Mountain Range (Besparmak Mountains) equivalent to the size of 12 football fields, the TRNC flag has its own breathtaking illumination and can be seen from many locations around the island.