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Bacówka Andrzeja Knapczyka Siwa Polana

Andrzej Knapczyk's Shepherd's Hut in Siwa Polana

Kociołek nad rozżarzonym ogniskiem w Bacówce Józefa Klimowskiego w Czarnym.

Dolina Chochołowska Tourist region: Tatry i Podhale

He has had his shepherd's hut for years in Siwa Polana at the mouth of the Chochołowska Valley. That is, literally a few steps away from one of the most popular trails in the Polish Tatras. In high season, thousands of tourists use it every day when they head towards the mountain shelter.

He shepherds within the framework of cultural grazing in the Tatra National Park. It should be remembered that sheep were once driven out of the Tatra mountain pastures and glades. However, it later turned out that without the presence of these animals, the glades would start to become overgrown and there would be an imbalance in nature. Thus the sheep, as well as the shepherds and their helpers, were allowed to return to selected areas of the Tatras. He travels with his flock to the Lejowa Valley before the snow descends in the Tatras. The sheep graze by the ski lift in Witów from April. His herd consists of around 300 animals, of which he has more than 140 of his own. 'I have been taking care of sheep since I was a child, by the house in Jaworki. My father-in-law, Stanisław Kowalczyk Zając, also helped the shepherds in Jaworki and I inherited a shepherd's hut from him', explains Andrzej Knapczyk, who was also a shepherd's helper for many years in the Bieszczady Mountains near the border with Ukraine, in the so-called Worek Bieszczadzki. 'There were beautiful areas there, excellent pastures, only sometimes wolves bothered me', he recalls.

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