On the occasion of today’s International Forest Day, which was established back in the 1970s, we would like to take a closer look at the German primeval forest.
Primeval forest in Germany, is there such a thing?
When people talk about primeval forests, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the tropical rainforest with its exotic diversity of flora and fauna – but not necessarily the native forests. The first assumption is also almost correct, because if you look at the definition from the Duden, a primeval forest is an untouched patch of earth or forest that combines many different animal and plant species. In Germany, however, most forests have been created and maintained by humans. So the first hunch was right: there is no such thing as a real German primeval forest. However, old forests are essential for many animal and plant species. We can therefore speak of “German primeval forests” in the sense that they have a centuries-old stock of trees and provide a home for animals and plants.
Why old-growth forests are so important?
In most German forests, conifers predominate, which means that a monoculture prevails there. This makes these forests more vulnerable to climate damage, such as dry summers, and pests, such as the bark beetle. Storms and rising temperatures are additional burdens for the fragile forest ecosystem. Before large-scale clearing by humans, the forest consisted mainly of beech trees. Now spruce and pine predominate in native forests. But why is it important to protect the existing forests and not simply reforest them? For one thing, old-growth trees are more resistant to external influences such as storms or fire. For another, they are home to species that only really feel at home when the trees are 200 years old or more, such as the middle spotted woodpecker in the native beech forests.
What can we do to protect the German primeval forest?
Frugality is the be-all and end-all
Conscious consumption of wood and paper products is a good start to protecting our forest. While wood is a renewable resource, it is not infinitely abundant. Wood stores large amounts of CO2. If wood is used as a building material and not burnt, the carbon dioxide stored in it can even be preserved beyond the lifetime of the respective product created. So there is no need to do without this practical material completely, but sustainable use protects the local forest.
My friend the forest
By becoming a forest sponsor, you can actively contribute to protecting a few square meters of the German primeval forest for the next 50 years. The Forest Academy has set up a project for this purpose, which you can easily help with. Take a look at the Forest Academy!
Experience the forest in a new way
We can only protect what we know. Inform yourself and your loved ones about the local forests. Maybe you would like to go on an excursion and discover a new place to relax in the forest? You could pick up litter and let the forest breathe again.
Reaching for the right product
Consider the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) label when making your purchase.
This is a certification to prove the sustainability standard of forest management. It ensures that forests are not overexploited. This means that no more forest is cut down than new trees can grow. We are also committed to the spread of natural mixed forests and much more.
Did you know that our Matabooks also have an FSC seal?
Take a look around our shop and discover your new favorite certified accessory in book form.