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Department of Forests

Forest Recreation-Environment Education

Forest Recreation (Introduction)

In modern times, human activity has considerably influenced forest policy on a global scale. Forest management in Cyprus, has long ceased to focus on the production of wood but instead, is aiming at exploiting the vast potential of the forest to serve the needs of local societies as well as foreign visitors to our country.

The Department of Forests, recognizing the need to redefine its mission, has reviewed the management objectives of Cypriot forests and set priorities for forest protection, environmental education, biodiversity conservation and the provision of services and infrastructures for forest recreation.

In the context of promoting forest recreation and improving the quality of visitors' experience through environmental education and information, the Department of Forests in recent years has created a network of expanding and improving infrastructures which offers innumerable opportunities for recreation and enjoyment in nature. These projects include:

• 65 nature paths totalling a distance of 316 km.

• 44 recreational spaces with a total capacity for 23,500 people.

• 3 campsites with a capacity of more than 1000 people.

• Accommodation hostels with a capacity of 25 people.

• 4 Visitor Centers (Athalassa, Troodos, Amiantos and Kavo Gkreko).

• 4 botanical gardens (Two in Athalassa, one in Amiantos and one in the Baths of Aphrodite).

• Viewpoints along the main forest roads and paths.

• Birdwatching spots in lakes and salt-ponds.

Apart from recreational infrastructure, particular importance is given to identifying, preserving and protecting the age-old trees. These trees are an important part of our historical, cultural and environmental heritage and are linked to forest recreation.

Finally, the Department of Forests participates in the expansion of urban green spaces as it undertakes the landscaping of various public spaces, always taking into account the combination of ecological and aesthetic elements for shaping the landscape appropriately.

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