With its ancient solitary oak trees, large plains roamed by herds of deer, views over the Sound, woodland and subglacial stream trenches, Jægersborg Dyrehave is a piece of primeval Danish countryside, which has been left practically untouched for 350 years. The trees are allowed to stand until they fall from old age, and when they do, they are left to nature’s own decomposition processes - unless they present a danger to the 7.5 million guests that visit Denmark’s national forest every year.
The population of deer is regulated to the 2,000 head, the around 10-square-kilometre area can sustain.
No other Danish natural area has been depicted so enthusiastically by painters and poets as Dyrehaven, behind its red gates just a dozen kilometres north of the city of Copenhagen. There is always new experiences to be had here: from the bloom of the hawthorn in May to the fiery colours of the foliage in October, from the tranquil countryside to the bustling Bakken amusement park, and from the Hubertus Hunt to a mug of hot chocolate on a winter’s day.
Nowhere else in the world is it possible to get as close to rutting wild stags as in Dyrehaven and international nature photographers flock to the park when the stags fight over the hind in the autumn.