10. Forest

What use is the forest to man?

  • Recreation: The forest is used for recreation, but also for nature experiences and education.
  • Raw material supplier: Wood was and is a very important raw material that is used in many ways.
  • Water reservoir and filter: When it rains, trees and forest soil retain water and filter it at the same time. Accordingly, they are important as flood protection and contribute to the formation of clean groundwater.
  • Improvement of air quality and regional climate: Forests balance the climate by filtering dust, pollutants and CO2 from the air. They also produce oxygen which has a positive effect on air quality.
  • Protection against erosion: The trees and plants protect against rockfall and avalanches. Their roots prevent landslides.
  • Noise protection: The forest absorbs sound and therefore also serves as noise protection.

What use is the forest for Nature?

Forests are a characteristic landscape element in Switzerland. They are of great importance for plants and animals and their habitats. Forests provide a quiet and restful habitat because they reduce noise and other disturbance. For this reason, forests serve as a refuge for shy animals. Thus, the forest fulfills a species conservation function, as it is a vital place for many animals. More than one third of all species in Switzerland depend on the forest. A large part of Switzerland’s biological diversity is found in the forests.

What use is the forest for a farmer?

For generations, a piece of forest has been part of the management on many farms. Nowadays, however, the farmer is less dependent on the wood yield than in the past. Nevertheless, wood is still often used as a building material or for heating. In addition, the forest owner is responsible for ensuring that the forest is healthy and can regenerate well. For this reason, it is important that the forest is respected and cared for as a working area by forest visitors. Unfortunately, we notice again and again that trees are willfully cut into the bark. These trees are dead, they are rotten and they have no fuel value anymore. Also garbage and shards of glass are left lying around after parties. What a pity!

However, we thank all those who enjoy this beautiful place on the Thur as much as we do and therefore leave it clean. Enjoy the peace and who knows, maybe you can spot a dipper or the kingfisher. Both are regular guests here on the riverbank.

Sources:
Landwirtschaftlicher Informationsdienst (LID)
House of Switzerland (Schweizer Wald)
Umwelt im Unterricht (Funktion Wald)