F orestry Days is the biggest nationwide event in Slovakia organised by Slovak forestry institutions annually from 2007. This year's event followed the motto Forests without barriers – forests for all.
The event connects state and non-state forestry institutions with active communication with general public. Its main objective is to inform about the importance and functions of the forest for society and present the work of foresters and the role of forest management.
Forestry Days 2017 – now in its eleventh year in Slovakia - started on April 21 with the festive opening celebration held at SNP Square in the town of Zvolen. The event was opened by the Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Mrs. Gabriela Matecna: "The Forestry Days are an excellent opportunity for foresters to present their work and let people know the various functions that forests have," Matecna said.
Focusing on the topic Forests without barriers – forests for all, the organizers wanted to point out that forests are for everyone and foresters, among other things, make the forests accessible also to people with limited mobility. Forest pedagogues from National Forest Centre donated a gift voucher for experiential education programs of forest pedagogy to the disabled children and adults. In addition, the Municipal Forests of Košice, handed over to the residents of the city renovated suburban forest recreation areas incorporating facilities for disabled visitors.
The program of 11th edition of the Forestry Days was varied and interesting. One of the key spectacles of the opening celebration in the town of Zvolen were the 'Miss Wood' (Miss Drevina) contest and the Forest Mandala. As many as 1,575 people participated in the 'Miss Wood' contest, voting for 4 types of woods – pine tree, large-leaved lime, silver fir and rowan. The 'Miss Wood' title finally went to large-leaved lime, which acquired 661 votes. Forest Mandala was created by over the 800 people - Forestry Days visitors – from a lot of natural elements, such as various kinds of cones, seeds from plants and trees or their bark. With the final area of 24.64 square meters, the Forest Mandala made an entry into the Slovak Book of Records. The part of the program was also falconry, performances by dog handlers, archers, hunters and hunting trumpeters, activities of forest pedagogy and educational games for children.
Forestry Days continued a series of events across Slovakia. Other key sites taking part in this year’s event were Bratislava, Kežmarok, Prešov and Košice. The main events were complemented by a series of regional events, exhibitions, excursions, etc.
The closing event of Forestry Days 2017 was an opening – the 15th season of the open-air Forestry Museum in the Vydrovská dolina valley near Čierny Balog. The museum is a well-known and visited attraction presenting the work of foresters – in the past as well as in the present.
Forestry Days under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic are coordinated by the National Forest Centre. The largest forestry institutions from the state and non-state sectors are involved in their organization.