Coal Safari offers excursions to operating mines and recultivated areas of old mining sites serving to learn about technology of mining and recovery of nature.
Companies from the Sev.en group started to organize excursions for public in 2009. The purpose is to offer visitors a close view on the technology of an operating quarry extracting brown coal as well as on the recultivated natural areas of closed mining sites which are nowadays rich in their fauna and flora.
Since its start the Coal Safari welcomed 26.000 visitors from the Czech Republic as well as from other European countries.
The excursion represents an exceptional source of knowledge and experience for the visitors and becomes an important communication tool for the company.
The main beneficiaries are general public/society, mining sector, local inhabitants.
For the participants of the Coal Safari, the project is an opportunity to get acquainted with the actual mining and subsequent recultivation of the mining of the affected landscape directly in practice. Coal safari presents the results of the Czech recultivation school not only to tourists but also to project participants from the professional community, university students and representatives of local authorities. Visitors to the Coal Safari are acquainted with the possibilities of further utilization of the renewed landscape and its involvement in the development of towns and municipalities in the region affected by mining. The project also acquaints visitors with the research of the Czech University of Agriculture on reclaimed areas. It is also becoming an inspirational source for student and scientific work
The guided tours are paid by the visitors.
The realization is provided by one company employee within the scope of their work + 6 guides (mainly former company employees) who are hired for the summer season.Other human resources must be used for service activities such a drivers.
Evidence of success
Since its start the Coal Safari welcomed 26.000 visitors from the Czech Republic as well as from other European countries (individuals, families, groups of friends, weddings, schools, companies,..). The turnout of visitors – individuals as well as groups is growing significantly in the last seasons and the feedback from the visitors is positive.
Project preparation is focused on risk prevention. Participants are advised in advance about security risks, which they also confirm by signing. Almost 30,000 visitors have seen both quarries and recultivation in ten years without a single accident.
Potential for learning or transfer
The example of Coal Safari shows that open and transparent approach to the general public (starting with local inhabitants) brings education and thanks to the gained insight it brings also understanding of the complicated processes of mining and its impact to the public. A suitably selected form of the excursions became a strong and successful communication tool.
This is a good example of how the problems can be communicated and explained by a company who is often viewed as the source of ecological, social or economical problems in mining.
Coal safari is a good example of how to develop areas affected by intensive industrial production and change its use. Coal safari is a study opportunity for specialized universities such as landscaping. It can be an inspiration for the representatives of local governments in the creation of land-use and revitalization plans and future use of the sites under their management.