Lords of the ring: volunteer group reunites forester with wedding ring lost for 23 years
A forest clean-up has yielded unexpected results after volunteers unearthed a wedding ring lost by the organiser of the operation twenty-three years ago.
Working as a forester in Żółwin close to Bydgoszcz, Adam Kata lost his wedding ring in the year 2000 – just two months after he had got married.
Speaking to the local media, Kata revealed that he had spent a few weeks working as a farmhand in Germany at the start of the millennium. The gruelling nature of the work saw him shed 15 kilos, and it was this that he attributed to the loss.
“When I came back to Poland to work in the Żółwin Forest the ring must have just slipped off,” he said. “I remember delivering firewood to a friend, and when I took off my gloves afterwards the ring was no longer on my hand.”
Desperately searching the forest to recover it, Kata finally conceded defeat after eight weeks.
Now, however, he’s been reunited with the heirloom – gifted to him by his late father – after he corralled metal detector enthusiasts from a historical and archaeological association called Bractwo to help him clean up the forest.
With the area sometimes used by prostitutes and their clientele, Kata speculates that one local had decided to booby trap the forest roads with tyre-piercing spikes and nails to deter the trade. In the interests of safety, Kata recruited Bractwo to help him clear the roads.
“I joked that it would be great to get my ring back,” he said, “but I never thought that would happen.”
Piotr Glimasiński of Bractwo said: “We’ve helped people find lost wedding rings on more than one occasion, but usually we were just looking around a back garden. To find something like this in 1,800 hectares of forest is absolutely unbelievable – especially seeing it was lost for 23-years.”
Continuing, Glimasiński said: “When we were preparing to leave the forest one of the team, Marek Strzyżewski, just decided to walk a metre off the road with his metal detector. Suddenly he raised his hands and started shouting something at us so we all ran to him.”
Strzyżewski has, quite literally, hit gold. “I was so happy,” says Strzyżewski. “The forester’s hands were shaking. He was overjoyed.”
Despite no longer fitting Kata’s finger, the delighted forester has been quick to heap praise on the volunteers.
This, though, has not been the only find that Bractwo have reported. Working with the relevant permits, members of the group also found several coins, hairpins and other oddments dating from WWII