On northwestern Lolland we find along twisting and winding roads a special area called Købelev Forest. The roads are narrow and small woods grow here and there. Ponds and hedgerows break the landscape. This area was originally divided into numerous small lots. All the farms had a small piece of woodland where they could collect firewood, wood for making tools and fencing. Many of the plots were no more than about 10 meters wide, but 500 meters long. Through the years, some of the plots were sold when money was tight, or when a late evening’s card play went wrong.
Today there are still many small lots, but they have gradually become much larger. There are now about 15 owners. The most ambitious have thrown themselves into real forest management and made beech or oak woods, and Christmas trees or spruce are being tried. Others just pick up some firewood now and then. The latter plots still have the imprint of old coppice where the trees were not felled, just cut back with several year’s intermission. These plots contain an unusually rare flora favoured by this kind of forestry.
There is public access to some of the small wood lots; these are protected. Employees of Lolland Municipality regularly look after the woods. This is done according to special rules. Poplars that do not belong in coppice woods are ring-barked and die slowly without producing root suckers. The farmer gets a little fire wood, and the smaller twigs are used as animal fodder.
In late April and early May an extraordinary diversity of plants can be found in the woodland, and many of the species are quite rare. Different kinds of primroses, anemones and orchids grow in the area, but please take care when walking, it is all too easy to step on a rare plant - and remember to bring a flower book.
It goes without saying that it is strictly prohibited to pick and dig up plants.
On the map the special area is marked.
When in Købelev Forest, take a hike or cycling tour around the area - there is plenty to look at.