Alternative forestry is of vital importance to the wildflowers and animals how well the woods are looked after, also what kinds of trees are planted. At the end of the 1980s, new ideas about alternative forestry were brought about, taking outdoor activities, biology, and economy into consideration.
These ideas are now tried out in the woods of Ringelmose and Hestehave.
Ringelmose Skov is looked after in the traditional way, which means that the production of timber is the main purpose. Hestehave Skov is looked after according to environmental principles, which mean no weed control and fertilization. The trees are mainly hardwood trees like beeches and oaks. The experiment gives possibilities for different experiences and to evaluate what effect the new forestry has on wild plants and animals. New beech wood in several places in the woods - for instance, by the memorial stone of Baron von Jenisch – there is a very open beech wood, which is fenced in to keep out the deer.
These areas are laid out for new self-seeded beech wood. The soil is clayey and therefore it can be difficult for the young beeches to grow. However, after some years the growth is as good as in the best Danish woods.
In many places in the woods, there are remains of large, dead beeches. Some of the trees have had their tops snapped off in stormy weather, but they are left standing because they are habitats of insects and birds. Many species of birds feed on the insects, living in the dead and putrefied bark and wood. The many holes in the trunks show that the woodpecker is one of the birds.
Ancient Monuments Kalø Woods is rich in ancient monuments. 80 protected monuments are recorded and they represent the whole period from the Stone Age to historical times. 54 of the ancient monuments are barrows, many of which are big and significant. Excavations in the northern part of Stegelykke and Kirkevangen show remains of brick kilns and of the village Bregnet, which laid the foundations of the town called Rønde. The brick kilns produced bricks for building Kalø Castle.
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