The Great Forest (Nagyerdő) in Debrecen has won an internet public vote organised by the Ministry of Agriculture; the Minister of Agriculture, István Nagy, presented the certificate.
The Ministry of Agriculture launched an internet public vote in February, which received more than 61,000 participants. Minister of Agriculture István Nagy stressed that “our forests are visited 40-50 million times a year. Debrecen is in the privileged position of having our country’s first nature reserve and now also the most beautiful forest in the country.”
The area is named after the largest trees in the area, the oaks with stems, which grow up to 25 metres high and can be two to three hundred years old. The Ministry of Agriculture launched an online public vote in February, in which more than 61,000 people took part, and the Great Forest was named Hungary’s most beautiful forest.
Minister of Agriculture István Nagy said at the award ceremony that the Hungarian forests are visited 40-50 million times yearly. At the same time, forest management is crucial for health and tourism and a strategic issue in terms of sustainability and climate change. Today, 2.3 million hectares are covered by forest trees and shrubs, roughly a quarter of the country’s land area. “We provide resources and tenders to make this worthwhile for economic operators. The task of the state forestry enterprises is to create quality restorations and quality preservations,” he pointed out.
The minister stressed that state forestry enterprises manage one million hectares of forest. Since 2010, the government – involving forest holdings – has spent HUF 33 billion on forest ecotourism investments. As a result of these conscious developments, forests have become one of the most visited domestic tourist destinations.
Managing Director of NYÍRERDŐ Nyírségi Erdészeti Zrt. Tibor Hidas said that the Great Forest fulfils all the functions of a forest. There is nothing to say about nature conservation: it has been protected since 1939 and is home to all kinds of protected plants and animal species. Its public welfare function is also well known.
Mayor of Debrecen László Papp emphasised that the city lives together with this forest, as it is a place for relaxation, recreation, entertainment and sports at the same time. The mayor stressed that this title is both a source of pride and responsibility. In a time of climate change, water is a particularly important issue.
“I am very happy that in the last few years, we have managed to launch the Civaqua programme, which has been waiting more than 50 years to be implemented and which will make a significant contribution to the development of this beautiful forest,” László Papp said.
Debrecen is one of the most forested cities in Hungary: 34% of its administrative area is forest. The city’s forests are twice the size of Vienna’s and four to five times the size of Barcelona’s. In the Ministry of Agriculture’s public poll, the Great Forest received more than 5,800 votes, the Zsófia Lookout in Lillafüred came second, and the Cuha Valley in Bakony third.
Source and photo credit: debrecen.hu