There are 33 LAGs in Slovenia on an area on 20,000km2 and 1.2 million inhabitants. LAGs are mostly organized in less populated areas. In the period from 2007-2012 there were over €33 million allocated, while over 800 projects were implemented (target at least 650 projects).
LAG Dolenjska-Bela krajina (LAG DBK) in a non-profit venture of public-private, local partnership for the development of the rural area of Dolenjsko and Bela krajina. The LAG DBK is under the direct management of Razvojni center Novo mesto d.o.o. (Development Centre Novo mesto Ltd). LAG DBK comprises 15 municipalities with over 80,000 inhabitants over an area of 1,700km2. In the period from 2007-2013 LAG DBK received Leader funds in the amount of €2,300,000.00.
The activities of LAG DBK are various, ranging from forming new partnerships, the implementation of different incentives on a local level, looking for grants to implement the set targets on a local, national and European level. The common feature of Leader projects in the DBK area is innovation. The stakeholders find project ideas in the tradition and in the local development potentials. The projects are aimed towards added value, the establishment of conditions for new jobs and the improvement in the quality of the local area. The stakeholders must adhere to the principle of participative planning and implementation, inclusion of the local population and the sustainability of the project after the implementation of all the project activities even after the end of the funding received from national and EU sources. LAG DBK prepared in the period 2008-2012 six implementing drafts that included 50 projects. During the excursion we will learn about the activities of the Development Centre as stakeholder of LAG Dolenjska, Bela krajina with actual project results, how we got the ideas, their implementation, how do we secure sustainability, where we achieved excellent results, where are the flaws... In addition to Dolenjska and Bela krajina we will also visit the neighbouring areas.
Arrival in Slovenia, accommodation in hotels or in vineyard cottages (LAG project), programme and dinner at Matjaž’s homestead. During the dinner there will be a presentation of “Tourism in Vineyard Cottages” and the tourist destination of Dolenjska. Overnight stay in a vineyard cottage or hotel.
In the morning drive to Šentrupert. After a home-made breakfast the Development Centre Novo mesto will present the results of the LAG projects. After that a presentation view of some actual best practice examples that were funded within the LAG with Leader funds. At first, a visit to the largest “hayrack” park – special Slovenian objects of housing heritage that were used for drying and storing hay. Afterwards a drive to Bučka and walk along the Mlinarjeva pot (Miller’s Path). Members of the tourist association will present the path along which nine mills used to grind, while the female members of the village community group will prepare a miller’s snack. In the afternoon visit to the Zagraški log park. This park is in joint co-ownership of the village. A few years ago the inhabitants cleaned up the park and are now adding to it objects of cultural heritage . Additionally, they present the natural heritage too and have recently restored the old accommodation facilities. At the end of the day, a drive to Šentjernej with a visit to the bee keeper Stankovič, who is engaged in honeybee tourism. Their latest offer is apitherapy, honey massages ... At the end, a visit to Skansen Pleterje, an open-air museum. The landlord Simon will show us around: the old “black kitchen” in which granny Sonja will prepare bread that we will taste at the end. Dinner and overnight stay.
After breakfast a drive to Bela krajina. First, a stop in Občice in the Home of Kočevarji (German long-time residents). We sample here first their breakfast and then tour the home - museum. Next to the home, they planted, with the help of funding, a gene bank of old fruit species (apples, peers, cherries) to be used for propagation (seedlings). Then a visit to the municipality of Semič that arrange riding trails and a supply centre for horses from Leader funds. The Centre has a communal area and 20 beds. Our journey continues to Kanižarica. Here we learn about the story of a devastated area where a mine used to be. The mine is closed today and the area has been completely revitalized through various funds. There is a mining museum, a fish rearing pond, an educational path around the pond, a birdwatching hide, a fishing home with an exhibition, a seminar room and a new industrial zone in the broader area. After a tour of the area a presentation of the RIC Bela krajina project and a light lunch. Our journey continues in the afternoon to Žuniče with Škočev dvor - a former Uskok house. The building was fully restored through several projects, there were many workshops on the subject of handicraft, the limestone and coal production facilities were revitalized, a beekeeping trail ... Lunch and overnight stay.
Breakfast and a visit to Litija and a presentation of the LAG project, Heart of Slovenia. After the presentation we depart to Dolsko to learn about the kitchen that was furnished, through the Leader funds, by the female members of the village community group. The kitchen serves as an educational centre and the home of workshops as well as for food preparation when some events are held in the area. Preparation of a light lunch with the female members of the village community group. In the afternoon we will see an example of “local self-supply” - 50 households linked into the Jarina Institute that sells product surpluses and supplies caterers, schools ... At the end of the day a visit to Mizarstvo Kos in Velika Preska. Here we will learn about an interesting story about the successful cooperation and linking up in business as well as in social terms. Among other things, a chance to see the project of passive houses. Dinner and overnight stay.
After breakfast a workshop that will be led by a group of LAG experts. An analysis of the projects we got to know during the last few days and thinking about possibilities to transfer best practice into our own region as well as ways of financing through EU funds. Departure after lunch.
The price includes: the implementation of the full programme with all entry tickets, presentations and topics... half board accommodation, guide, professional team and VAT.
The length of the excursion can be tailored to your wishes i.e. shortened or extended with a tour of some other best practice examples. The excursion can be extended to the neighbouring countries (Austria, Croatia, Italy...). A tour of best practice examples could be the best way to get some new ideas and knowledge for the development of a region ...