Events, facts, documents and evidences: In autumn 2002 the administration of the National park decided to enlarge the car parking at the central entrance of the National Park. For this purpose a site with living Alder wood of old age was cut down (see "Felling of living Alder forest of old age at the entrance to the National Park, October 2002").
This picture shows the car parking.
The last two years confirmed that there were few reasons to enlarge the parking and felling the living forest appeared to be far-fetched. The tourists who visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha are relatively small in number. There is enough space for them to park their cars.
These pictures show the parking in summer season, when the flow of tourists reaches its maximum. The parking is half-empty. The photos were taken in the weekend, the time of "rush". It is easily visible that the space of the old parking site is large enough for all buses and cars...
|(The parking of the National Park, 1 - June 6, 2004,
2 and 3 - July 10, 2004)
. while the new parking area is completely empty. Only single cars have been parked here, to hide them in the shade of the adjacent forest from the hot rays of the sun. On the site where the Alder trees were felled no maintenance works had been carried out, nor has the area been asphalted in a period of two years after the enlargement of the parking. Only sand has been spread out over the new parking area.
|(1 - June 6, 2004, 2 and 3 - July 10, 2004)|
The parking had quite enough space for buses to slew round, as is visible on these pictures.
|(June 6, 2004)|
Near the parking, on the other side of road, a second paid parking site is located.
|(June 6, 2004)|
The parking is half-empty during autumn and winter. These pictures confirm the stated above as they were made in the weekend when the number tourists in the National Park tourists reach their maximum. However by the winter of 2004 the parking has been covered by asphalt for two years. The works on hardening of the car park were carried out shortly after a critical publication was published in the regional newspaper ("History of a pine tree from Belovezhskaya Pushcha" published in "The Brest Courier" newspaper, August 17, 2004) and before a national seminar in which leading employees of the President's Property Management Department, national parks and reserves of the country participated.
|(The parking of the National Park: 1 - December 4, 2004;
2 and 3 - December 5, 2004)
In order to present an objective and true picture of the situation it must be said that Belovezhskaya Pushcha enjoyed a boom in the number of tourists during the Christmas holiday of 2004. Many children and parents came by car and buses to the forest to see the residence of Grandfather Frost. Their great number of vehicles filled the parking completely. However, shortly after New Year the parking was half-empty again. During a short period tourists were very numerous in the National Park, but the general situation has not changed.
|(The parking of the National Park before New Year: December 26, 2004)|
And so there has been no necessity to enlarge the car parking in the past and at present there are no reasons for enlargement either. The old parking site was large enough to park the cars of all visitors. So, one may wonder why the stand of living forest near the entrance of the National Park has been felled two years ago. Was it done to make a "facade" for the heads from Minsk?
Nevertheless, if the administration of the National Park faces and urgent need to create additional parking lots, it should have chosen to locate the additional parking about one hundred meters from the existing parking. A suitable place was at hand beside the road, where meadows border the wood (photo at the left side). If this place had been chosen, there would not have been a need to cut down the living forest.
This picture shows that there is A LOT OF SPACE on the area close to the old parking where a new parking site could have been build. On this place ample space is available to park a big number of vehicles.
|(December 4, 2004)|
PS. For more detailed information on felling of the living forest to enlarge the parking read the publication "History of a Pine tree from Belovezhskaya Pushcha" by Heorhi Kazulka.