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Surge in forest visitors after COVID-19

This article is an English translation of the original version in German.

“Under Covid-19, visitor numbers have experienced an unprecedented boom. The Kottenforst was already a popular forest area before, over the year we counted an average of 290 passers-by per day. But in March and April, the number increased by a factor of 2.4,” says researcher Jakob Derks of the European Forest Institute (EFI), impressed by the results at an open-air press conference held in the Kottenforst on 14 May 2020. While the evaluation of the counting station previously showed clear peaks in the morning and evening, which the researchers also attributed to commuters on bicycles, the Corona period is now dominated by afternoon visits to the forest, with very high visitor numbers. A comparison of the weekdays shows that Friday and Saturday have become much more popular and have recently recorded the highest number of visitors during the day. Read more

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Resilience in the times of COVID-19

This is a tree I see from the window of my living room and bedroom.

It is an oak – a pedunculated oak, one of a few hundred oak species in Europe. My colleagues – foresters – would be able to say a lot of other interesting things about this species’ biology.

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Heroes’ forest – honouring those who keep us safe during the pandemic

Belgian Flanders is a European region notorious for its lack of green cover: roughly 23 percent of the country is covered in forest and less than 11 of Flanders, the country´s most densely populated region, is forested. During the COVID-19 pandemic, green spaces and forests all over the world have become tremendously popular for citizens looking for meaningful ways to fill their days and stay healthy.

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