Denmark’s largest birch forest is a little piece of Sweden on Danish soil. Called Pinseskoven, it lies in the middle of West Amager. Birch seeds have floated over the Sound from Sweden, landed and taken root here ever since the land was reclaimed during the Second World War.
The name stems from the former warden Mardal Jensen’s tradition of bringing his family here to eat Whitsun lunch. He called it Pinseskoven (literally ‘the Whitsun forest’), and the name stuck.
The forest is particularly beautiful in early summer, when young green foliage stands out against the white tree trunks. In the autumn, the leaves turn to gold, while in winter the trunks are striking due to the bright light. The birch forest is worth a visit in any season, and you may be lucky enough to see herds of deer among the trees.
Special permission has been given to allow Pinseskoven to grow freely without human interference, so the trees are closer to each other than is usual in planted Danish forests. It’s a wild forest, yet close to the capital.
Go out there one morning in mid-May, and listen to the cuckoo and nightingale as the sun rises between the slender trees. If the wind is blowing in the right direction, you’ll even hear the clock strike on City Hall Square. That’s how close this piece of wilderness is to the heart of Copenhagen.
Photo: Martin Rivero