Verle’s old-growth forest

Verle’s old-growth forest is about 80 hectares of high natural conservation value forest, situated in Ale municipality (roughly 50 km northeast of Gothenburg). Without the negotiation skills of Naturarvet, the landowner would have had the area cut down back in the winter of 2007/2008: this due to the Swedish Forest Agency and the county council not having the means to preserve the deforestation-registered area. Naturarvet only had till Mars 19 of 2009 to collect enough money to save Verle’s old-growth forest from being felled. The deadline drew close and a large sum was still required to save the forest.

The municipality donated about 2 million SEK, Västkuststiftelsen another 2 million, and added to the 2.4 million that Naturarvet had raised, the area could be acquired and preserved forever. Fältbiologerna had given Ale municipality and Västkuststiftelsen a 400,000 SEK grant to share, and Naturvårdsverket had given a grant of about 1.9 million for Ale municipality and Västkuststiftelsen to share.  This was a unique occurrence in Sweden, where not-for-profit powers, a municipality, a region, and the government, all came together to help turn an old-growth forest into a nature reserve.

We would like to honour the following key persons who made this solution possible: Lars Munther (NAI Svefa), Jarl Karlsson (chair of the county council), Lars Strandberg (Västkuststiftelsen), and Leif Danielsson (Naturskyddsföreningen, Ale).