©Nicholas J R White
Heralded as one of Europe’s last great wilderness areas, The Carpathian Mountains stretch 1500km across central and eastern Europe and are home to the continents largest unfragmented forest.
In Romania, at the southernmost reaches of the Carpathians, the country has found itself fighting to protect this unique and fragile landscape.
It is said that “the forest is Romania’s brother”, however in recent years this innate connection to the forests is being put under incredible strain. In the years that succeeded the fall of communism, huge swathes of previously state-owned forest areas were handed back to their former owners. However, the way in which this restitution occurred prompted huge clear-cuts and thousands of hectares of forests were illegally felled. With Romania being home to almost half of the European population of Wolf, Lynx and Brown Bear, the destruction of these contiguous forests is threatening the wider Carpathian ecosystem.