The largest forests can be found in the North East and Central Estonia. They stretch from the north coast to the Latvian border. About 10 per cent of Estonia is a nature reserve.
Estonia is situated on a border area where the coniferous Euro-Siberian taiga opens onto a European zone of deciduous forests. There are 87 native and more than 500 introduced tree and bush species recorded.
About 75% of all plant species in Estonia are found on the west coast because the climate is more moderate there. In many locations in Estonia, for example on Hiiumaa Island and in the North East, large tracks of primeval forests - that once covered Europe - have been preserved.
Pine, birch, spruce and aspen are the most common Estonian trees.
Rich Estonian forests are the home to many animals – seeing a hare, fox or deer is a common thing and if you’re lucky, you may meet a wolf, lynx, bear or elk. They are also home to several animal species close to extinction such as the European mink, dormouse and flying squirrel. The European beaver, once hunted to extinction in Estonia, was successfully reintroduced in the 1950s.
The forest has always been important place for Estonian people - it was believed to be a sacred place in Estonia’s primeval religion and people worshiped the wood-spirits, because the forest was their essential source for food and building materials.