Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians
On June 28, 2007 the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Committee on its meeting in New Zealand adopted a decision to include the Ukrainian-Slovak nomination „Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians to the UNESCO World Natural Heritage. This is a transboundary serial site that contains of ten separate areas located along the 185 km axis from the Rakhiv Mountains and the Chornohora Mountain range in Ukraine to the Bukovske Vrchy and Vihorlat Mountains in Slovak Republic. These virgin beech forests represent all stages of beech forests in their entirety, contain the largest remaining primeval beech forests in Europe and the largest and tallest beech specimens in the world!!! Primeval beech forests of the Carpathians have the potential to become a real Mecca for a great number of naturalists from all over the world.
Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe
Movie about the UNESCO World Heritage Nomination process of the Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe, which were submitted for the inscription on the World Heritage List in February 2016. The property was inscribed to the World Heritage List in July 2017.
Primeval Beech Forests of Europe - UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Primeval Beech Forests of Europe is a large, multi-national UNESCO World Heritage site. It covers many different forests, bio-reserves and national parks across 12 European countries, including Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia and many others. Beech forests once covered much of the European continent, but have slowly been cleared and destroyed to make way for farmland, and the ancient primeval pockets only survive in a few small areas. For this site, we visited Heinich National Park in Germany. Let's have a look!
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Андрій Михайлик. Primeval Beech Forests
They are globally largest remaining areas of beech primeval forests with participation of forest beech (Fagus sylvatica), which used to widely distributed in Europe and covered some 40% of the continent. Areas of unique primeval forests are located within the Transcarpathian region in Ukraine, and in the eastern part of Slovak Republic.
Ukrainian Carpathians - Uholka virgin beech forest.avi
Virgin forest of Uholka is located in the central part of Transcarpathia and represents the region's most valuable treasure. It is the most valuable asset of the transnational UNESCO's World Natural Heritage called Primeval beech forests of the Carpathians.Uholka contains roughly half of the about 60 karst caves found in the Ukrainian Carpathians. Uholka's main landmark is the Karst Bridge. The most striking and impresive features of Uholka's virgin forests are the mighty beech trees, the broken-off tree stems covered with fungi and the decaying trunks of fallen trees. About 500 species of vascular plants grow in Uholka and 30 of them are regarded as rare in Ukraine. Uholka's virgin forests provide a paradise for dead-wood insects, woodpeckers and other tree-hole dwellers. Far from the noise of planes and light polution, you can find here many tranquil spots and above all lots of „first-class wilderness.
Ukrainian Carpathians - Shyrokyi Luh virgin beech forest
The wildest asset of the transnational UNESCO's World Natural Heritage called Primeval beech forests of the Carpathians is located in the heart of Transcarpathia - 10 km north of Shyrokyi Luh village.
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Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe
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Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe is a transnational composite nature UNESCO World Heritage site, encompassing forests in 12 European countries.
The Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians include ten separate massifs located along the 185 km (115 mi) long axis from the Rakhiv mountains and Chornohora ridge in Ukraine over the Poloniny Ridge (Slovakia) to the Vihorlat Mountains in Slovakia. The Ancient Beech Forests of Germany include five locations, cover 4,391 hectares and were added in 2011.
The Carpathian site covers a total area of 77,971.6 ha (192,672 acres), out of which only 29,278.9 ha (72,350 acres) are part of the actual preserved area, while the rest is considered a buffer zone. Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians cover areas of Zakarpattia and Prešov Regions. Over 70% of the site is located in Ukraine. The area includes two national parks, and some habitat controlled areas, mostly in Slovakia. Both national parks, along with a neighboring area in Poland, compose a separate biosphere reserve, the East Carpathian Biosphere Reserve. Besides Havešová, Rožok, and Stužica (all of them located in Bukovské vrchy), there is a fourth component situated in Slovakia, named Kyjovský prales of Vihorlat. Ukrainian locations include Chornohora, Kuziy-Trybushany, Maramarosh, Stuzhytsia–Uzhok, Svydovets, and Uholka–Shyrikyi Luh. Only a few of the ten components are accessible to visitors. Stužica is the only one of three locations in Bukovské vrchy (Slovakia) with available hiking trails. In 2017, UNESCO extended the site, adding forests in Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, and Spain.The last intact virgin forest in the temperate latitudes of Europe is to be found in the Carpathians. Trees can live to a hundred years old in these forests, providing an important habitat for organisms such as mushrooms, moss, lichen, insects, rare birds (e.g. capercaillie and black grouse) and mammals (e.g. bats, brown bear, wolf and lynx). Large parts of the forest in the Romanian part of the Carpathians have been lost due to deforestation. The pressure on timber as a resource may increase due to international demand and European companies may start large-scale felling in neighbouring Ukraine. Currently unprotected areas of virgin forest can be permanently preserved in the Ukrainian Carpathians by expanding and reinforcing conservation areas. In the Ukrainian Carpathians there are nine national parks and two biosphere reserves. There is a general ban on tree felling in coniferous forest areas above 1,100 metres. If park administrations are shown to work, management of larger, previously unprotected areas of virgin forest to preserve them on a permanent basis, may occur. There are roughly 100,000 additional hectares of forest which could be integrated into the existing conservation areas.
Ukrainian Carpathians - Virgin forest of Uholka - hiking trails.avi
Europe's largest virgin beech forest is located in the Transcarpathian region of Ukraine near the geographical heart of the continent. It constitutes a natural heritage of worldwide significance and is today part of the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO's World Natural Heritage called Primeval beech forests of the Carpathians. The area we recommend you to visit is situated in the central part of Transcarpathia, north of the town of Tyachiv. In the virgin forest of Uholka visitors can make use of two fascinating hiking trails. The Mala Uholka hiking circular trail leads through primeval beech forests passing by Druzhba cave and rocky limestone belt called Hrebin with Chur lookout on the way up to the Karst Bridge. The trail is about 5 km long with 500 m elevation gain. The best time to visit is from April to October. The trail begins at the office of the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve in Mala Uholka village (Kicherely by the locals). The Velyka Uholka hiking trail is about 4.5 km long with a 400 m elevation gain. The trail begins at the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve's checkpoint in Uholka, which is situated 5 km north of the Velyka Uholka village. On the highest point of this circular route there is the karst cave Molochnyi Kamin (literally Milk Stone). Several hundred meters downhill you will catch a first glimpse of a lonely rockface Velyka Kopytsya (literally Big Haystack) which is 70 m high. The only way to get to the summit is a narrow path on the western slope. It is worth to climb as there is a marvellous view over the whole area covered by the canopy of virgin beech forest.
Ukrainian Carpathians - Krasna massif
Krasna massif is situated in the heart of Transcarpathia. It includes Polonyna Krasna and Uholsko-Shyrokoluzhanskyi massif. Polonyna Krasna, was the most beautiful mountain pasture of Subcarpathian Ruthenia (nowadays Transcarpathia) during the interwar period. It belongs to the Northeastern Carpathians and its main ridge is about 35 km long. The highest peak of Polonyna Krasna is called Syhlianskyi. The most significant part of Krasna massif is the largest virgin beech forest of Europe with a total area of more than 10 000 ha . Uholka-Shyrokyi Luh virgin beech forest is the most valuable asset of Primeval beech forests of the Carpathians - a transnational UNESCO's World Natural Heritage. Krasna massif is a real hidden treasure and can be proudly considered as the Pearl of the Carpathians.
Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany
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Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany is a transnational composite nature site.The Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians include ten separate massifs located along the 185 km long axis from the Rakhiv mountains and Chornohora ridge in Ukraine over the Poloniny Ridge to the Vihorlat Mountains in Slovakia.The Ancient Beech Forests of Germany include five locations in various parts of Germany.The Carpathian site covers a total area of 77,971.6 ha , out of which only 29,278.9 ha are part of the actual preserved area, while the rest is considered a buffer zone.
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Ukrainian Carpathians - Uholsko-Shyrokoluzhanskyi massif.avi
Uholsko-Shyrokoluzhanskyi massif is located in the central Transcarpathia on the southern slopes of the Polonyna Krasna and its powerful spur of the Menchil mountain pasture, at an altitude of 400 - 1280 m.a.s.l. The total area of the protected territory is 15 500 ha.
The typical feature of this area is the availability of large limestone blocks with the well-advanced karst. The largest cave of the Ukrainian Carpathians - Druzhba /literally Friendship/ with the total passages' length of more than one kilometre, and also the unique natural bridge, known under the name of Kamyaniy or Karst /literally „Stone/, - are located in the massif's territory. The late-palaeolithic site of the primitive man was found in the cave Molochniy kamin /Milky Stone/. More than 550 plant species constitute the massif's flora. The Uholsko-Shyrokoluzhanskyi massif forms phytocoenotic core of the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve. No wonder we can find here giant beech specimens reaching 55 meters in height and 130 cm in diameter, which can be considered as the tallest beech trees in the world. Nowadays we can proudly consider the Uholka-Shyrokyi Luh massif to be the largest virgin beech forest in Europe. Without a shade of doubt it is the most valuable treasure of UNESCO's World Natural Heritage called Primeval beech forests of the Carpathians.
Southern Beech forest
The great tree genus of Patagonia: Nothofagus, the Southern Beech. This may be N. dombeyi.
Ukraine forest scene
Walking through the forest
Beech Forest ぶなの森
Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe
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Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe
Location: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine
Inscribed in: 2007
This transboundary property stretches over 12 countries. Since the end of the last Ice Age, European Beech spread from a few isolated refuge areas in the Alps, Carpathians, Dinarides, Mediterranean and Pyrenees over a short period of a few thousand years in a process that is still ongoing. The successful expansion across a whole continent is related to the tree’s adaptability and tolerance of different climatic, geographical and physical conditions.
This is a serial transboundary site comprised of 77 components located in 12 countries – Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Ukraine. While the values of the site have so far been relatively well preserved, the external pressures are high for some components. The small size and isolation of the components do not necessarily guarantee the integrity of the property in the long term and preservation of ongoing natural processes which are the essential part of the site’s Outstanding Universal Value. The components of the property are influenced by increasing development pressures, of which the forest resource exploitation in the Poloniny national park in Slovakia is of particular concern. Some progress has been achieved in ensuring multilateral cooperation with the establishment of a Joint Management Committee. However, the efficiency of the Joint management structure is still to be demonstrated.
Current state and trend of VALUES
Overall, the values of the property are being maintained. In many of its components primeval forests are well protected and have been so for many years. However, the 2017 extension of the property added a number of very small components with unclear buffer zone protective prescriptions and concerns exist whether their size is sufficient to maintain integrity and support ecological process.
Many of the current threats are localized and limited to some of the components only. Logging in the buffer zones and reportedly also within the Slovak components of the property will remain a high threat until all the areas within the property are legally protected from logging. On the other hand, small size of the components, particularly those added through the 2017 extension of the property, and habitat fragmentation are issues that are relevant for the entire property. This raises a significant concern with regards to the future integrity of the property. Whilst potential threats across the majority of the serial site remain low there are specific concerns regarding hydropower development impacting on the Albanian components..
Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT
All component areas have a high legal protection status. However, there are some concerns about the consistency of the legal regimes of the property as a whole, as demonstrated by concerns repeatedly expressed with regards to the protection regime of the Slovak components of the property. With the 2017 extension, this serial property now includes 77 components in 12 countries. While intentions have been expressed to establish an Integrated Management System building on the existing cooperation between Germany, Slovakia and Ukraine, the effectiveness of such measures will need to be evaluated.
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The beech forest at Kullaberg
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Ukrainian Carpathians - Chornohora part I
The main range of Chornohora is the highest mountain unit in Ukraine with Hoverla peak reaching 2061 meters altitude.
In the Beech-Forest