Swiss beech forests added to World Heritage List

Solothurn’s Bettlachstock has been a cantonal nature reserve for 35 years. Some trees are more than 200 years old.

The ancient beech forests on the Bettlachstock in the Solothurn Jura and in the Val di Lodano in Ticino are now World Heritage sites.

This content was published on July 29, 2021 - 11:55

UNESCO, the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, included them along with nine other forests in Europe in the list of “Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe”.

In addition to Switzerland, these are located in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Poland, Serbia and Slovakia.

“The extension […] adds to the outstanding universal value and integrity of the property, which now comprises 94 component parts across 18 countries,” UNESCO said in a statementExternal link on Wednesday.

“The extended property represents an outstanding example of relatively undisturbed, complex temperate forests and exhibits a wide spectrum of comprehensive ecological patterns and processes of pure and mixed stands of European beech across a variety of environmental conditions.”

The forested Bettlachstock (left), next to it the cliffs of the Wandflue in the Solothurn Jura. SRF

Solothurn’s Bettlachstock has been a cantonal nature reserve for 35 years, where natural development is left largely undisturbed. The oldest trees go back more than 200 years. In Ticino, the beech forests in question are located in tributaries of the Maggia Valley.

Switzerland has 13 sitesExternal link on UNESCO’s World Heritage List: nine cultural and four natural.

Comments under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Join the conversation!

With a SWI account, you have the opportunity to contribute on our website.

You can Login or register here.