The history of the Rold Skov forest in a timeline
Tundra 18,000-9,000 B.C. The ice melts. Rebild Bakker arises as erosion valleys at the edge of the subglacial stream trench. Almost naked tundra with dwarf birch, reindeer and mammoth.
Early forest 9,000-8,000 B.C. Open forest with birch, fir and European aspen. Large grazing animals such as red deer, elk and aurochs can now find food. The bear immigrates. The virgin forest arises 8,000-7,000 B.C. The climate is getting warmer. Pine still dominates but now together with hazel. Ash, oak, elm, lime and alder immigrate and the forest becomes more varied and dense.
The virgin forest dominates 7,000-3,900 B.C. Denmark is covered by forest. Mainly lime-tree forest with birch, willow, oak and pine along lakes and rivers. The sea penetrates the Gravlev valley in the middle of the period. Hunters arrive with the sea inlet and they establish settlements along the shore.
The Neolithic period - deforestation 3,900-1,700 B.C. Forest is cleared for farming in Havdalen and along the Gravlev valley. Dolmen and burial mounds. The dominance of lime tree retreats, replaced by oak and hazel.
Bronze Age 1700-500 B.C. Open oak and hazel forest. Peasant society of livestock breeders. Forest grazing, small fields and clearings, but large areas without anthropogenic impacts. Many grave mounds and places of worship.
Iron Age 500 B.C. - 700 A.D. The beech immigrates to Rold Skov forest shortly before year 0. Extensive grazing in the oak forest. Exhaustion of arable land leads to drifting of sand, the Cimbrians emigrate.
The Viking Age and the Middle Ages 700-1536. The plague in 1340 wipes out many people and forest grazing disappears for a period, which is why the beech takes over Rold Skov forest for 200 years. Charcoal burners over-exploit the forest.
The forest of manor estates 1536-1805. Increasing over-exploitation of the forest. Livestock grazing and trees felling in the many manor-house forests and in the common forests of the villages destroy the forest. No natural reproduction or new planting. Open coppice forest with beech, thin and exhausted, and heather spreads everywhere.
Forest reserves, state-owned forests and tourist attractions 1805-1945. Danish forests are protected by legislation in 1805. The state takes over the manor estates of Buderupholm and Teglgård in 1826. The first spruces are planted in Rold Skov forest in 1774 and in 1849 the first North American firs. Rold Skov forest becomes a tourist attraction when the railway is introduced in 1869 and with the Rebild Festival from 1912.
Large-scale production and nature conservation 1945-1992. Production forest with mainly common spruce and Douglas fir as well as decorative greenery take over more and more of Rold Skov forest. Increasing mechanization of forestry. Huge forest storm damage in 1991, particularly conifers. Nature preservation with clearing, fencing and grazing in Rebild Bakker. Burning of heather in 1990 and since 2012.
The future Rold Skov forest takes form, 1992. The state-owned forest introduces a natural forest strategy with untouched forest. Huge areas are run on close-to-nature principles. The term biodiverse forest is introduced.