The peculiarity of Velikoanadolskiy Forest or Veliko-Anadol Forest is the fact of its existence. It turns out that the founder of this forest was the first person in the history of forestry, who was able to visually confirm the real possibility of the formation of artificial forests on bare and waterless lands. Without exaggeration, Veliko-Anadol Forest may be called an oasis and a pearl of Donetsk steppe.
Yet in the nineteenth century, the famous scientist and forester Mitrofan Kuzmich Tursky wrote: “You should be there; you should see Velikoanadolskiy Forest with your own eyes to understand the greatness of the steppe forestation, which is our pride. Words can not describe that an exciting feeling that is caused by this forest oasis amongst the endless steppe. It is, indeed, our pride because you will find nothing like this in Western Europe”.
Being relatively close to Donetsk city, Velikoanadolskiy Forest is an ideal place for a weekend.
The story of this forest starts in 1843, when the graduate of Tsar Forestry Corps Victor von Graff, together with the famous Russian forester F. Arnold started to create an experimental forest cottage in Azov steppes. Growing of trees had been started with the purpose to fight against dust storms. Today these forest belts protect local crops from dust storms. Despite all the difficulties, for the period of 23 years (i.e. until 1866), it was created the first 157 hectares of forest plantations under the leadership of Graff. It should be noted that the young scientist intentionally chose the most inappropriate area for the forest cultivation that is waterless Veliko-Anadol wasteland. Already at that time, travelers were delighted with forest vegetation. Today, the forest area is 2543 ha, which became a school and a laboratory for study of many aspects of the Steppe Forest Science.
One of the most interesting site of VelikoAnadol Forest is a dendrological park (from the Greek “dendron” – a tree). It was founded in 1950 by D.K. Kraynev. Under his leadership (about 50 years) there were grown more than 200 species of different trees that are atypical for our climate zone. In fact, it was brought many exotic trees from around the world to the dendrological park. For example, winter plum and red ash from North America, Amur cork tree and Japanese Sophora from Eastern Asia, common catalpa and Scandinavian mountain ash from North and Central Europe.
In terms of tourism infrastructure, Velikoanadolskiy Forest is one of the most visited Ukrainian nature reserves. This is a real hand-made wonder of nature and Donetsk citizens are proud of having such “pearl” in their region.