UNESCO Beech Forests
UNESCO world natural heritage site German beech forests
Two of the world heritage sites of UNESCO's World Natural Heritage Sites German Beech Forests are located in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
In 2011, the beech forests in the National Parks of Müritz and Jasmund on Rügen were declared world natural heritage sites.
Some of the beeches in the Serrahn beech forests in the Müritz National Park are more than 200 years old. The Grand Dukes of Mecklenburg-Strelitz had a passion for hunting, so that the forests remained virtually untouched for a long time, wood utilisation playing a subordinate role. Together with the lakes, moors and meadows, the beech forest provides a valuable habitat to flora and fauna, such as cranes, white-tailed eagles and ospreys.
The beech forest in Jasmund National Park on the Island of Rügen is the largest contiguous beech forest on the Baltic coast. Owing to its inaccessible position on the steep slopes, it was never forested and provides a habitat for the peregrine falcon and the white-tailed eagle, for example, as well as for rare wild plants such as the lady's slipper and great horsetail.
The world natural heritage sites can best be explored on long walks following the numerous sign-posted hiking paths. The national park rangers also provide guided walks into the beech forests.