The reason why conservation burning makes a difference is that there are many species that depend on burned land and charred wood. Extensive forest fires used to happen naturally and quite regularly. We have since become better at extinguishing forest fires, which is good in a lot of ways – but less good for the many species that depend on fire.
Berga has burnt many times, both through natural forest fires and thanks to Holmen’s conservation burning. The earliest fire we have been able to identify was in 1620, as revealed by annual rings in a fire-damaged Baltic pine. Because Berga is a natural fire area, it has been important to continue conservation burning in order to preserve the area’s character and values. Over the past 20 years, Holmen has carried out eight conservation burns in Berga.

Repeat burning

In 2021, Holmen carried out repeat burn, which is a second conservation burn in the same location. The forest normally needs 25 years’ recovery to enable successful repeat burning, mainly so there is enough moss and debris to fuel the fire. In a burned area like Berga, Holmen was able to repeat burn after 20 years, as the good amount of heather did the job of providing the fuel. To date, it is clear that the burning has attracted several fire-dependent insects, such as an auger beetle – the pitch-black jewel beetle.