Siim Forest


Belonging to the village of Siim, is a forest on the northern slopes down toward Knudå Valley and Knudsø (knud’s Lake).

In the old days, peasants used the forest in agreement with the owners - in the Middle Ages these were Øm Monastery and, after the Reformation, the Crown. During the Renaissance, various kings went hunting in the forests of the Lakelands, and Siim Forest was part of a large, continuous forest and nature area named The Skanderborg Game Preserves. Tenants of the Preserves had to meet many rules in order not to harm the king's game. For example, the death penalty was imposed for poaching, and the peasants’ dogs had one front leg cut halfway through so they were not able to chase the game. In 1767, the King sold his properties in the Danish Lakelands. At the same time, the feudal system was being abolished and tenants in Siim were able to acquire their own farms Freehold also meant land enclosure, which prompted dramatic changes to the way village land had been managed for generations. Previously, farmers had had an ingenious collective system for cultivating long, narrow strip-fields, mixed up with each other to ensure everybody got both the best and the worst land. But this was changed by the enclosure movement. Each farm got some larger aggregated sites according to the principle that they all should have a share in both the village's richer and poorer soils, as well as of meadows, marshes and forests. Siim was enclosed in 1783, and each of the farms received their share of Siim Forest. Thus the foundation was laid for individual forestry. Now the farmers gave different priority according to their own way of farming, whereas previously they had to agree on how to cultivate the forest. The Danish Ministry of the Environment has taken over a part of Siim Forest, which is managed by the Danish Nature Agency of the Lakelands on behalf of all Danes. Among other things, the forest is now available for outdoor activities, including for dogs.