"Over the last few hundred years attitudes towards old growth, pristine forest have changed. Once regarded as an undesirable obstacle in the progress of modern civilization it is now a valued part of the country's natural and cultural heritage. The delayed development and industrialization of Slovakia since the 19th century coupled with bad access to the remote mountain areas has meant that relatively large areas of native, undisturbed forest have been preserved. At present there are 74 forest reserves across the country covering 14,630 hectares (36,151 acres). However not all remnants of virgin forest have been designated as protected areas and recent estimates indicate that in total up to 20,000 hectares (49,000 acres) of virgin forest remain in Slovakia." There are virgin forests situated in the Slánske and Bukovké mountains.
Badin Primeval Forest
This reserve is located in Central Slovakia, at an altitude of 700-850 m., in an area of 150 hectare with an additional 23,7 hectare buffer zone. The area saves a climax stage forest ecosystem in beech vegetation zone. The typical tree species are beech and a bit of spruce.
The Badinsky Prales virgin forest is located out of its native distribution. Optimum phase, phase of decay an and growing developmental phases of European primeval forests are represented. While fir achieves an age of 350-450 years, beech reaches only 210-230, so 2 beech generations develop for one generation fir. The biggest fir is 148 cm in diameter and 46 m tall.
In 1947, a hurricane damaged the area, but natural reforestation was allowed. This damaged area represents now the initial stage of succession (willows, aspen, birch).