Now that we were loaded with our special permits, we got through the checks into Nymto Park and drove to our base for the night, which was about 3 hours away. This was at first a journey through a mixture of bogs and some very sandy soils which made me think of a desert. After a while this turned a vast expanse of bog, with forested birch and pine areas. The trees in general seemed a bit smaller in places but they were still plenty about! The road also changed from a smooth surface, to large concrete blocks joined together so became a bit more rickety! Yaroslav had to do a bit of persuasion at the check points because we were ecologists coming into the oil development area but we are here to study natural processes and in the end we were OK because permission had been granted by the boss in Surgutneftegas. We had a similar situation at our accommodation! We could not go to the Nymto Park Field station because of oil prospection work going on there, so we had arranged to stay at the Oil Workers accommodation. We had lunch there in the cafeteria and then went out into the peatlands. Yaroslav and our driver dropped us off a bit further north and we went to choose our field sites and then walked our way back for dinner. During this time Yaroslav spoke to the site manager about us staying in their accommodation.
The peatlands of Nymto Park were very beautiful; lots of large pools, small pools and areas of Ryam. We had chosen a similar design to Mukhrino and marked 4 locations where we collected water and vegetation samples at each location from Sphagnum lawns, ericaceous shrubs hummocks and treed hummocks. We dug small holes to measure the water table the following day. The sites were spread along about 12km. It was not too hard going however as we were able to walk on the rickety concrete road through the peatlands, with the first site at the road end.
That evening, after dinner we were invited to have tea and biscuits with the site manager at our base. Yaroslav came too and he acted as translator. The site manager asked about our project and work here and in Scotland. He told us a bit about himself too and we had a really good chat with him. He gave us lots of tea and biscuits also, which was a good round off to the day.