Vadakste Biodiversity forest

Project goals:

  • implement forest management where economical, nature and social interests have equal value
  • restore the initial forests (broad-leaved and alderwood) with integration in the forest Potential Natural Vegetation (PNV) species to adapt to climate changes and reduce weather and pest risks

Vadakste biodiversity forest (50ha) is privately owned and located in the woods of south east Kurland (Latvia), near boarder with Lithuania. 
Today the forest is a World Wildlife Fund Latvia demonstration site for continuous cover forestry.

Initially  there was broad-leaved forest with oak, ash, linden, alder, alm and alderwood . Terrain is flat, about 85 meters above sea level on calcareous clay soil

Addmitance: guided tours only

Today forest types and trees:

  • spruce (Picea abies) monoculture succession and/or(?) man made,
  • grey alder (Alnus incana) pioneer forest on abandoned agriculture land with dense bird cherry (Padus padus) undergrowth, 
  • mixed pioneer forest with aspen (Populus tremula) silver and downy birch (Betula pendula, B. pubescens) with sporadic spruce undergrowth on former woodland pastures.
  • dozen of mighty oaks (Quercus robur) and good crab apple (Malus sylvestris) population around the property
  • Some maples ( Acer platanoides )  lindens (Tilia cordata), alders (Alnus glutinosa) and pines (Pinus sylvestris).
  • Good established undergrowth  with: bird cherry (Padus padus) ,hazel ( Corylus avellana ) grey willow (Salix cinerea), alder Buckthorn (Frangula alnus).
  • Common ash  (Fraxinus excelsior) suffers from ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) and slowly disappears, but some mighty ashes are still there. 

Afforestation and agroforestry systems:

  • afforested agriculture land (2013-2014) with mixed birch/spruce planted and self seeded. Mimicking succession birch-spruce
  • polycyclic agroforestry plantation (2022-2024) nut and energy timber trees mixed with biodiversity elements

Forest history:

  • Former forest farm 1780-1949, with high biodiversity with meadows, woodland pastures and broadleaf forests oak, ash, linden
  • Under occupation land was abandoned and a lot of forest cutted down
  • 1945-1950... national resistance center
  • from 1994...resume private economic and forest management activity
  • 2019 farm land renovation project, renovated part of open ditch drainage system and access road network
  • 2021 bees are back in the forest
  • 2022-2024.... planted an agroforestry (polycyclic forestry) system base on nut trees, nurse trees/bushes and energy timber
  • 2022 the forest  become of the World Wildlife Fund Latvia  and State agriculture extension service demonstration site in project LatViaNature in continuous cover forestry.
  • 2022-2024 planted various species of  trees under alder canopy with aim to find the best site adapted  potential natural vegetation (sweet cherries, lindens, maples,  oaks, walnuts, chestnuts, larches, forest pears, crab apples and other) in forest and fenced area
  • 2023-2024 man made microhabitat implementing in the forest

Vadakste biodiversity forest story in pictures

Native tree species
Native shrub species
Introduced tree species
Perennials and herbs
Microhabitat structures (birdhouses, insect hotels,
Water features
Biological issues (Pests, diseases, invasive plants)