The Forest of Immortal Stories

Făgăraș Mountains, Romania

Forest of Immortal Stories


After speaking to people in the local area around Nucșoara deep in the Fagaras Mountains, we stumbled upon a very personal project by the Mayor, Ion Cojocaru. After his wife died suddenly, he found solace by walking amoungst the local ancient beech trees. It was on one of these walks that he had an idea. He took it upon himself to not only protect these trees but to preserve them for future generations and allow everyone to benefit in the way he has.

The “Forest of Immortal Stories” campaign is open to all those who want to support the preservation of natural values and aims to promote the vast areas of native grassland on which many ancient trees grow. It’s carried out with the support of Foundation Conservation Carpathia (also known as the FCC) and was born from the desire to protect some of the oldest and most spectacular beech trees in Europe.

The Mayor personally mapped and tagged 2544 trees. Each tree was included in a map with GPS coordinates, photographed and given a number plate. The idea is that you adopt a tree and the funds to do this are then used for:

  • Protecting this area for future generations.
  • Development of tourist facilities by setting up a minimum infrastructure for visiting such as tracks for access, signs, paths and quiet observation areas.
  • Ongoing maintenance through specific activities such as cleaning the area to ensure safe conditions during visiting, maintaining sustainable grazing, maintaining existing and future infrastructure.

Anyone can adopt a tree choosing it from a map of the area or searching by a preferred number. If you would like your beech tree to tell your story, that’s possible too. The story will be edited, audio recorded, and placed on a QR code tag on the tree of your choice. The project allows you to also adopt a beech tree without leaving a story.

We chose to adopt tree 100 that stands on the edge of an area of the forest that was used by resistance fighters against communism back in the 80s. They used to hide out in the woods and survive here. Now local people come to pray in the same area under a massive tree that’s broken through the rock in the ground and has become symbolic of their strength in days gone by. If you’d like to learn more: 

We like this because it’s an innovative grassroots project supported by a larger organisation. They have deployed the latest technology to establish the project and it’s technology that is available to anyone and so this could be used as a blueprint elsewhere.