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Marcin Kędzierski

Natural beech forests

It is hard to believe, but there are places in the Bieszczady Mountains that have not been changed by the Ice Age. The local forests survived the massive logging during the industrial revolution, and today they are adapting well to climate change. A few years ago, selected parts of the Bieszczady Mountains beech forests were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

You will see the power of the forests of the Carpathian primeval forest by climbing to any scenic peak in the Bieszczady Mountains. All around you, in a 360-degree radius, you will then see densely forested hills that reach to the horizon. With great difficulty, if at all, you will see any buildings between them. In autumn, you will see mostly the red and brown of millions of leaves.

The main tree of the Bieszczady Mountains is beech. It is one of the oldest tree species found in Europe. Nicknamed the king of deciduous trees, it had its uses as early as the Middle Ages and contributed greatly to Gutenberg’s printing press. Its wood is durable, hard, solid and at the same time flexible in processing, and burns for a long time in the fireplace.

Naturalists consider the original beech forests of the Bieszczady Mountains to be an example of an intact forest complex of the temperate zone, and at the same time the most complete ecological system of European beech forests. Their preservation in the Carpathian landscape is a paradoxical result of the weaker industrialization of these areas compared to the rest of Europe. The oldest trees in the Bieszczady Mountains are about 360 years old.

In 2021, UNESCO recognized the natural value of the forests located in the Bieszczady National Park (about 11% of the entire park).

These forests became part of the European Beech Forests (original name: Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe), covering a total of 94 individual areas in 18 countries.




Startpunkt - Bieszczady-Nationalpark

Natural beech forests