Diverse nature with a mild climate
The Knuthenlund Forest District
The Knuthenlund Forest District comprises a total of 225 hectares, which consists of 3 forest preserves: Ugleholt Forest with 196 hectares, Ørby Forest with 18 hectares and Hovmands Forest with 11 hectares. 4.4 hectares remain today as untouched forest.
As agricultural field, the forest soil is characterised by its lushness and great biodiversity. Thus, in the Ugleholt Forest there is a rich flora comprising, including blue anemones and seven different orchid species. Ugleholt Forest is also known for its many rare birds and many species of butterflies, and there is also a 400-year-old oak and a prehistoric grave site.
Ugleholt forest is bisected by Ørby Brook, which is an internationally designated spawning area for sea trout. The forests are thus managed as is our agriculture, according to organic principles without the use of artificial fertilisers and chemical sprays.
The forest’s growth consists predominantly of tall trees of maple, spruce, oak, beech, ash and arborvitae, crowned with a stand of Dutch oak. There is also a small production of Christmas trees and ornamental greenery, which is also grown organically.
Lolland’s mild climate and good soil
Lolland is the place in Denmark, where manors are the closest to one another. This is because ever since the since the Middle Ages it has been possible to feed many people here because of the good soil and the mild climate.
As in other places on the island of Lolland, Knuthenlund enjoys good soil conditions, with a sand and clay mix known as JB 6 and pure clay known as JB 7.
On 1 July 2007, Knuthenlund began converting organic production in order to take advantage of Lolland’s mild climate to produce quality food going forward.
Knuthenlund’s fields comprise a total of 650 hectares, planted with animal feed and Öland wheat, spelt, common wheat, rye, oats, barley, white clover, green peas for Ardo/Frigodan A/S, winter broad beans and oilseed radishes for the seed.
In addition, Knuthenlund conducts small trials of new crops. Among other things, we have, with the support of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, bred an old Lolland gray-pea known as the “Lolland raisin”, and with the support of the Ministry and 15 June Fund, we have created a Promet for original Lolland-Falster apple varieties.
Cultivation at Knuthenlund is run by a talented team of manager Jørgen Kloster along with field and forestry employees Leif Olsen and Palle Nielsen.
The importance of high biodiversity
At Knuthenlund, we think it is essential that we have as much biodiversity in nature as possible. We believe that nature is our partner that we must strengthen and take care so that it can yield its best. A healthy nature produces healthy crops, healthy animals and healthy people.
This also means that in our operations we work to improve the conditions of different biotopes including predators such as spiders, beetles and ladybugs, since they have an important role to play in reducing pests such as lice, which we do not want in our fields.
Therefore, we have recreated the historic hedgerows around the farm as a habitat for both livestock and wildlife. The hedgerows are established with an old Lolland wild plum, the Damson, which existed historically in all hedgerows on Lolland and Falster. However, this plum is currently threatened with extinction because it is very sensitive to Roundup, which has caused the plum to disappear in most places.
In addition to the Damson fences we have created 8 km of vegetable rows and 8 km of insect mounds in the fields for livestock as well as wildlife. At the same time, we have, with the support of 15 June Fund, European Union and Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, cleaned all the water holes around the farm for amphibians including the little green tree frog, and have undertaken conservation work for bats, by preserving 660 trees on the forest edge as a bat shelter.
In working to create a high level of biodiversity at Knuthenlund, we think it is also important to preserve traditional plant varieties and livestock breeds. We believe that many of the old varieties and breeds can do things that modern varieties and breeds cannot.
Often they are sturdier and animals often thrive better outdoors in the Danish countryside. More often than not, however, they have lower yield and growth, which is why they are often threatened with extinction, because they do not fit into more industrialised production. We believe, however, that they play a key role in other areas, since in addition to creating diversity they can also help to create some different taste experiences for consumers.