Blocking the entrance of the Hambach Forest in Germany with barricades, a squatter community has battled against a coal mine and eviction since 2012.
Ancient Forest Home of Squatter Communities Is Doomed by Coal
Germany’s Hambach Forest sits in the crosshairs of coal mining, stirring debate about conservation and energy production.
When he started leading guided nature walks in western Germany’s Hambach Forest four years ago, Michael Zobel was happy if a handful of people showed up.
In November 2017, almost 400 people turned out. Zobel shepherded them along on a couple of well-worn trails, but avoided guiding them into the heart of the forest. Drawn there by a social media blitz announcing the onset of another logging season, the group had come to witness what might be the final days of this ancient forest.
“There are a lot of people who come out, but then say they can’t go on the guided tours because they’re sad about what’s left,” Zobel says. “You could once go hours without meeting anyone.”
Since 1978, the