The tallest beeches in the world grow in Havešová in Poloniny

The national nature reserve is part of the Carpathian primaeval forest.

(Source: TASR)
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The Havešová National nature reserve is one of three reserves with the highest degree of protection within the Poloniny National Park. Together with Stužica and Rožok, it is a part of the UNESCO natural heritage Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe.

As the administration for the Poloniny National Park writes on its website, trees with extraordinary thickness and the greatest measured height for individual beeches on the world scale grow in Havešová. Some are 58 metre tall.

Untouched by humans

Related story:Will the borders of Slovakia's primaeval beech forests finally be set? Read more 

Havešová is located in Snina county and stretches over an area of 171 hectares. The reason why it was listed by UNESCO is its primaeval forest character.

“All around Europe, forests were influenced by human activity. This is one of the localities, where imprints of humans are not known. Another characteristic sign of the primaeval association is the presence of dead wood,” said Marián Gič, a worker at Poloniny National Park, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

Dead wood gives life

There is much dead wood in Havešová, but the name “dead” is not exact. “Dead wood is a substrate from which many other organisms profit, such as mushrooms, but also insects and mites,” Gič said, as quoted by TASR.

Absolute decay of the wood where these organisms live takes from 20 to 180 years.

Because Havešová is in the strictest protected area, it is only possible to visit it with a guide from the National Park.

Unknown to tourists

As Iveta Buraľová from the national park said, they were asked for guided tours eight times this year. Despite the natural wealth of Poloniny, expert estimations say that it has the lowest number of visitors of all the Slovak national parks. It is estimated that about 15,000 tourists visit it every year.

To compare, the Bieszczady national park in Poland, that is also listed as a Carpathian primaeval beech forest, was visited by 589,200 people between April and November of 2018.

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