Beech Forests (Switzerland)


Beech Forests (Switzerland) is part of the Tentative list of Switzerland in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

The Primeval Beech Forests (Switzerland) are part of a transboundary/transnational future nomination together Bosnia-Herzegovina, Czechia, France, Italy, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Poland. It is planned as an extension of “The Ancient Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe”. At the end, it would cover about 103 components in 19 countries. Switzerland would have two component: the Bettlachstock forest, on the Jura mountain range and the Lodano forest in the southern slope of the Alps, in the Maggia valley. Both have not been untouched for more than 30 to 60 years and contain trees up to 170 years old.

Map of Beech Forests (Switzerland)

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

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Philipp Peterer

Switzerland - 12-Apr-20 -

Beech Forests (Switzerland) (T) by Philipp Peterer

Adding a beech forest to the long list of inscribed beech forests seems to be the easiest way to get a new WHS in Europe. Switzerland also wants a piece of this cake and added two beech forests to its tentative list. I visited one of them, the Bettlachberg forest during the coronavirus lock down weekend. The forest is easy to reach by car. It’s just a few minutes outside Grenchen and there is a road leading right into the forest. We parked our car next to the street and hiked up to the old castle ruin of Grenchen, within the forest. It’s a rather easy uphill hike. Doable in less than one hour and really fun on a sunny day. In the end it is just a forest and it is heard to gasp the OUV. But I have the same problem with the already inscribed parts, so why not. On a positive note, there were lots of beech trees. Much more than I saw in the forests in Bulgaria or Italy. On the other hand, it is not a virgin forest. It is clearly maintained like any other forest in Switzerland.

It will probably be inscribed one day. I, personally, am against it. I would like this beech forest madness to stop. Further, Switzerland has with Corbusier and Pile Dwellings already too many of these underwhelming multi national WHS.  The forest is only for hardcore collectors, but can easily be combined with Berne and La Chaux-de-Fonds/Le Locle.

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Full Name
Beech Forests (Switzerland)
Nominated for
2018 Revision

Successor to Forets primaires de hetres des Carpates (2017-2018)

2018 Added to Tentative List

The site has 2 locations

Beech Forests (Switzerland): Forêt du Bettlachstock (T)
Beech Forests (Switzerland): Forêt de la Vallée de Lodano (T)
WHS 1997-2021