Ancient beech forests have been reduced to 0.02% of their maximal extent by unprecedented overexploitation during the last 200 years. Today few relicts remain in Europe, for example on Ruegen Island. The Ancient Beech Forest on Jasmund belongs to one of the last pristine forests of Europe in which natural life cycles can proceed without interruption. The surrounding landscape, with views of the Baltic Sea and the chalk coast round out this national treasure.
Ancient beech forests are among the most threatened habitats worldwide. Whereas active restoration activities are essential for many UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites, the directive for preservation of the Ancient Beach Forest is: Do not touch! This is the only way we can preserve this magnificent legacy for future generations.
For decades now, various natural habitats within Jasmund National Park have been recovering from human activities and are now regulated by natural processes. The beech forests of Jasmund are regaining their inherent ecological dynamic.