A unique forest with mighty ancient oaks that date back to the 16th century has been recently discovered near Kyiv. Scientists say that forests of this age have been known to be located only in Polissya area and Carpathian Mountains so far. The discovery of the Cossack Oak Forest (the name which was given to the area) was a real surprise.
Ecologists say that the ancient forest is truly unique as it managed to remain practically untouched by human hands for over 500 years. There are no tourist paths in the forest and the area looks rather wild and pristine. This place was listed as a wild grove, which means that trees fall and die their natural deaths, there are no artificial forest cleanings or fertilizations.
Currently a small team of international scientists is assigned to study this area. They say that forests of this age which haven’t been touched by civilization are very rare within Europe. And what’s important the forest isn’t degrading, in the contrary, there are many young oaks growing among centuries old trees.
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The biggest and oldest trees are 550 years old and the diameter of their trunks is approximately 5 meters. The rest of the oaks are mainly 300 years old.
This area is very hard to reach. It is surrounded by water on one side and restricted governmental owned area on the other side. To get to the brinks of the unique oak forest one will need to cross several shallow torrents and swamps.
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At the beginning of the 20th century this area was included in the natural reserve Koncha Zaspa. After Ukraine gained its independence in the 90’s this reserve became one of the biggest and richest natural reserves of the country. These days the area accommodates the whole colonies of endangered species such as beavers, badgers, herons and many others.
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