The official ceremony for the winners in the ‘Wild Chestnut’ journalism competition

Aug. 08, 2022
The official ceremony for the winners of the ‘Wild Chestnut’ competition for green journalism was held on 5th-7th August at the Leva Hotel in Vratsa. The official event was held on the 6th and all nominees received a certificate of participation and the winners in each category received the special ‘Wild Chestnut’ plaque. Various journalists as well as experts in the field of nature conservation and representatives of various institutions took part in the official event.

Our aim is to award journalists covering topics such as nature protection, Natura 2000 and protected species and territories in 5 categories:
-    Television
-    Radio
-    Print media
-    Online media
-    Citizen journalism – blog/vlog

The original author materials were selected and evaluated by a special jury including experts in the fields of journalism, media and nature conservation – Elena Stoeva – ‘Natura 2000 in Bulgaria – New Horizons’ project manager at Green Balkans; Svetlana Vatashka – MIT press editor, MANAGER magazine editor, manager at Manager News website, Novite Roditeli website and Obekti website; Anushka Eneva – BgTopMusic (HobbyTv) coordinator; Margarita Koleva – Darik Radio coordinator; Lyubomir Vasilev – Economedia coordinator (CEO and Chairman of the Managing Board at Capital Foundation). Due to the large number of materials our jury had a hard time picking out only three finalists in each category so we settled on 5 finalists in the blog/vlog category, as well as the online media and print media categories. 

The first day all participants had the opportunity to meet and mingle and get to know a bit more about our work through the Chronicles of a dream come true – Part II film by our friend, Lyubomir Andreev, Lupi.

The second day was dedicated to a bit of tourism and getting to know a bit more about the Vratsa region. All participants visited the Ledenika cave followed by a bird-watching experience – getting to see the Griffon Vultures in the Vratsata region. Our afternoon was set aside for information activities at the Natura 2000 Centre at the Vrachanski Balkan Nature Park where our colleagues at the Nature Park presented some of their activities for the protection of species inside the park and the Green Balkans team presented some of the active projects we are currently working on – the ‘Life for the Lesser Kestrel’ LIFE19 NAT/BG/001017, the ‘Natura 2000 in Bulgaria – New Horizons’ LIFE17 GIE/BG/000371 and the ‘Bright Future for the Black Vulture’ LIFE14 NAT/BG/649. 

The evening was dedicated to the official ceremony where the winners were announced. All nominees received a special Certificate of participation and the winners covering the greenest themes received the special ‘Wild Chestnut’ plaque. All guests received a special information pack with additional information about our work in the region and protected species in our country.

The final day was set aside for a free time for all participants and the opportunity for guests to join a hiking experience inside the Nature Park.

Here are the finalists in the respective categories:

Diana Aleksandrova – 3rd place
Tina Ivaylova and the Glasnews team – 2nd place
Gergana Gaydarova, BNT – 1st place

Ivana Murdzheva – 3rd place
Yordanka Petrova – 2nd place
Lora Tarkoleva, BNR – 1st place

Print media
Gavrail Gavrailov – 3rd place
Mariya Ruseva, Yoana Stefanova and Liliya Lozanova – 2nd place 
Tatyana Garkavaya, citizen journalism – 1st place

Online media
Genka Shikerova and Zornitsa Spasova – 3rd place
Dani Yordanov and Viktoriya Simeonova – 2nd place
Valya Ahchieva, Bivol – 1st place

Lyubomira Velikova – 3rd place
Tatyana Garkavaya – 2nd place
Rada Boneva, blog and Dobromir Balabanov, Balkanka – 1st place

We’d like to thank all participants for joining our event and the competition, as well as our colleagues at the Vrachanski Balkan Nature Park for helping us organize the event. Special thanks to the experts Georgi Stoyanov from the BPPS and Hristo Peshev from the FWFF for joining the event and answering all questions regarding our work for vulture conservation in the region as well as all Green Balkans colleagues and volunteers for taking the time to join the event and talk about their work with wild species.

•    All media teams taking part in the jury were not allowed to take part in the competition.
•    Photos – Hristo Peshev – FWFF

Additional information:
Polya Toncheva – project coordinator, mob.number +359894059156, e-mail:
Elena Stoeva – project manager, mon.number +359887574699, e-mail: