More primeval forests get top level of protection

New reserve will help ‘Noah’s Arks’.

The primeval forest on the Zámok hill.The primeval forest on the Zámok hill. (Source: Jana Liptáková)

Anyone hiking up Zámok hill near the villages of Kuchyňa and Rohožník in the Small Carpathian mountain range might be forgiven for thinking they had stepped into a scene from The Lord of the Rings.

Old oaks, with trunks twisted into bizarre shapes, some already dead while their fallen branches lie decaying on the ground, mingle with younger trees, creating the impression of walking through a magical forest.

Zámok is one of 76 primeval forests in Slovakia which as of December 1, 2021, will be given level 5 – the highest – environmental protection.

“Primeval forests are a bit like Noah’s Arks – islands of original biodiversity surrounded by a sea of forests more or less affected by man,” Marián Jasík, a conservation expert from the non-profit organisation OZ Prales, told The Slovak Spectator. “Each one deserves our protection.”

“Now, as much as 95 percent of primeval forests are protected in Slovakia,” added Jasík. “However, our goal is not only the protection of these forests, but their subsequent meaningful use for research and sustainable tourism.”

Inaccessibility has helped survival

Approximately 40 percent of Slovakia’s territory is forests, making it one of the most forested countries in Europe.

But for decades, conservationists have raised concerns over threats to forests from logging and other human activities.

Jasík says primeval forests have survived in Slovakia more because of their inaccessibility than any specific protection they have been afforded.

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Top stories

The Constitutional Court in Košice.

State quarantine interferes with personal freedom, the court decided

The Constitutional Court did not accept the complaints of the ombudswoman concerning the bill for state quarantine.

2 h
Illustrative stock photo

Christmas with curfew, family visits will not be an exception

Stricter measures will come back if hospitalisations reach a critical level.

21 h

News digest: Slovak government eases measures but closes schools

First wave of easing the measures starts on Friday. President Čaputová listed among 100 most powerful women. Districts in western and central Slovakia should prepare for heavy snowfall.

20 h
Illustrative stock photo

Booster or bust: Foreigners still face vaccine barriers in Slovakia

How to have your Covid vaccine doses received abroad recognised in Slovakia.

7. dec
Skryť Close ad