Expanding forests in EU

2.3 milion ha expansion over five years. From a European Union press release,

Forests currently cover 37.8% of the EU’s land area. The forest area of the EU Member States has been steadily increasing over the last decades. According to recently published reports, total forest cover in the EU during the period of 2000-2005 has increased by 2.3 million ha. Forest cover greatly varies among the EU Member States ranging from respectively 73.9% and 66.9% of the total land area in Finland and Sweden, to 9.7% in Ireland, 10.8% in the Netherlands and 11.8% in Denmark.

2.3 million hectares is 23.000 square kilometers or 8.880 square miles.

Only slightly above 60% of the forest growth in the EU forests is harvested.

One trend is to leave parts of forests  in a more or less natural state, allowing, for example, fallen trees to decompose where they fall. This creates rich habitats for wildlife.

Traditionally, farmers in Europe grazed their livestock in forests. This created and maintained beautiful, open, savanna-like woodlands. In Denmark, a law was passed in 1805 that distinguished between agricultural land and forests. Grazing was no longer allowed in forests, and this open, grazed woodland disappeared. Denmark plans to double its forest cover, and we will probably see the reintroduction of this type of woodland again.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s