Phie Ambo | Denmark | 2022 | 56 min | Danish | Subtitles: English | Age restriction: U
Hammer Bakker is a plantation forest in Jutland, Denmark. Foreign conifers grow there so densely, that almost no life exists on the ground floor of the forest. Only shadows and a thick rug of needles lie there. Because most of the trees are from elsewhere, only a small part of Danish species are able to live in the biocoenosis created by them.
The documentary follows a period of four years, during which the local authorities decide to restore the native Danish species to the area and increase the diversity of nature on the plantation. That means the current forest needs to be cut down. The harsh act brings up all kinds of feelings among the locals. Even though the trees in the forest are the “wrong” sort, people can still get attached to them. The forest was a familiar and loved part of the local environment to many.
The film dives into the rewilding phenomenon, the restoring of nature and ecological connections by letting the project employees’ and the locals’ voices be heard. Even if the result of the restoration would be a richer natural environment and pleasing to the human eye in the end, the journey is painful to many, because it means giving up something familiar and a long wait to find out how the local environment will change. What is the original nature the area is going to be restored into and who decides how it will be done?
Text | Riikka Kaartinen / Ecologist and journalist of the Suomen Luonto -magazine