Ancient Woods Foundation

Save the ancient woods

Lithuania — where nature belongs to itself, and is allowed to develop without any human influence.

Ancient woods, what is it?

It’s a space where people don’t cultivate or save the forest according to their own understanding, where all organisms are equal and no one is thought of as harmless.

Inhabitants of the ancient woods
  • Ural owl

    Ural owls are typical old forest residents. Researchers claim that there are only eighty to hundred breeding pairs left in Lithuania, due to an intense deforestation, imposed by people. The latter presents one of the greatest threats to these sedentary night travelers, choosing to settle inside the hollows of old-growth trees.

  • Western capercaillie

    The exotic western capercaillie, once an ordinary inhabitant of Lithuanian pine forests, and now — a rarely seen feathered dweller. The drastic decrease in the number of capercaillies in Lithuania was caused by a gradual destruction of the territories it inhabits. Famous for their wedding ritual, capercaillies gather in the same areas called wedding venues, year after year to seduce females and mate. If the ritual territory isn’t destroyed, it’s used by capercaillies for decades.

  • Grey-headed woodpecker

    Grey-headed woodpeckers are known as one of the most colorful forest birds. Like many other members of the genetic bird family, it needs mature masses of trees, rich in dead wood. It especially likes thick snags, of which there are hardly any left in Lithuania. As grey-headed woodpeckers tend to forge new hollows every year, its apartments remain for other forest animals, such as sparrow owls, bats and dormice.

  • Black stork

    One of the most mysterious inhabitants of the ancient woods is the secretive black stork. There are just over 500 pairs in Lithuanian forests, which makes around 10% of the entire European population. Even so, it has declined by as much as 30% over the past two decades, and the number one cause of extinction is a shortage of old-growth deciduous trees.

  • Coral tooth fungus

    Coral tooth fungus mostly grows in moist forests, on old veteran trees or coarse woody debris. These elegant forest dwellers allow you to enjoy its ephemeral beauty for only one season, if it shows up at all. In Lithuania, you can find it in just twenty places. The number is caused due to a removal of large, coarse woody debris from old-growth and mixed forests, which are necessary for the survival of these fungi.

  • Tree lungwort

    Tree lungwort is one of the largest and probably one of the most impressive lichens in Lithuania. Although still found in relatively many places, its population is rapidly declining. Genuine shrubs of this luxurious lichen can only be found in small fragments of Lithuanian ancient forests, untouched by human activity for a long time.

  • Orange polypore

    Orange polypore is a bright, yellowish-pink sponge mushroom, found on old large oaks. Although it’s often confused with a common edible mushroom - chicken of the woods, it’s considered a rare species, that grows only in about thirty places. These spectacular mushrooms flourish on old-growth or recently fallen oaks in ancient forests and its fragments.

  • Lynx

    Lynx, like all members of the cat family, has the ability to run extremely fast, though only for short distances. In order for them to survive, old, dense forests with numerous wind fallen trees are a must. Only in such forests can they sneak behind their victims and create lairs, suitable for giving birth to kittens. Lynxes have been included in the Red Data Book of Lithuania since 1979, with the current population of these elegant predators reaching a mere number of hundred individuals.

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The state of the ancient woods in Lithuania

As forests disappear, so do their inhabitants, bound by strong bonds of dependence. Due to vigorous human activity, the old groves, which make up 80% of the territory of Lithuania, have disappeared, and with them - many species that lived inside.

History of the Ancient Woods Foundation

"The dream of preserving Lithuanian old forests from felling, that slowly contributes to the irreversible destruction of animal, plant and mushroom habitats, began in childhood." Mindaugas Survila

The idea of establishing a foundation to preserve the old-growth forests of Lithuania arose after seeing the public interest in the documentary "Ancient Woods". Director, Mindaugas Survila, set aside the money it made, 60 thousand euros, towards purchasing the first forest plots, positioned to become the first public, Lithuanian ancient forest.

Further activities of the foundation will be based on privately donated funds, dedicated to the acquisition of forest plots. In this way, forests will be protected from felling and the first ancient forest in Lithuania will be established.

  • 2018 - 03

    Film "Ancient Woods" reaches cinemas

  • 2020 - 01

    Ancient Woods Foundation is established

  • 2020 - 04

    Search for suitable plots begins

  • 2020 - 05

    Foundation collected:
    60,000 Eur - from the film funds
    3,905 Eur - from private donations

  • 2020 - 06

    Public education and educational activities begins

  • 2020 - 11

    The first plot to become an ancients woods is purchased

The team

The team of Ancients Woods Foundation consists of a large community of scientists and professionals, united by a common goal of restoring the old Lithuanian forests and the belief that only by working together, true change can be achieved.

  • Mindaugas Survila

    Author and main initiator of the Foundation, documentary filmmaker

  • Rasa Valantinaitė

    Teacher, copywriter, leader of experiential camps for children

  • Mindaugas Lapelė

    A botanist who has dedicated his life to the conservation of nature and public education

  • Ainis Pivoras

    Biologist, that works in botany and forest ecophysiology

  • Aurelija Urbonavičiūtė

    Organizational design and development strategist

  • Vilius Striužas

    Lawyer, responsible for the legal issues of the Foundation's activities

  • Simonas Bastys

    Programmer responsible for the technical decisions of the Foundation

  • Community members and supporters

Contribute to the preservation of ancient forests

You can contribute by gifting the land of your forest, contributing financially or educating your community about the importance of ancient woods.

  • Donate your forest

    If you have a forest and don't know if it will fall into good hands, you can donate it to the Ancient Woods Foundation, which will ensure the preservation of it and the ecosystems that live within.

  • Contribute financially

    VAll of the raised funds are used for the purchase of private, old forest plots, protecting them from felling and human activities. Everyone, regardless of their contribution efforts, will be able to visit and observe the spectacular life of ancient woods.

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  • Share information

    • If you know that an old, biologically valuable forest is for sale - be sure to share the information with us here:

      Forest proposal form
    • If you want to contribute with your professional knowledge, shoot us a message here:
    • Share your knowledge, stories and experiences related to the old Lithuanian forests with relatives, acquaintances and friends.

The Ancient Woods community

Sincere thank you to everyone who contributed to the creation and preservation of the ancient Lithuanian forests.

Scientists and biologists

Danas Augutis

Forest Ecologist

Dalia Bastytė - Cseh


dr. Eugenijus Drobelis


dr. Eduardas Budrys


dr. Reda Iršėnaitė


Marius Karlonas


dr. Jurga Motiejūnaitė


dr. Žydrūnas Preikša


dr. Valerijus Rašomavičius


dr. Darius Stončius


dr. Bronius Šablevičius


Vytautas Uselis


Giedrius Vaivilavičius



Darius Babelis


Romualdas Barauskas


Renatas Jakaitis


Vytautas Knyva


Ieva Literskytė


Ugnė Balčiūnaitė

Brand Identity Designer

Ieva Dobilaitė

Content Strategist

Gediminas Užkuraitis

Brand Identity Strategist

Andrius Grigorjevas


Raminta Lilaitė

Public Relations Strategist

Kristina Skindelytė

Public Relations Strategist

Goda Šiugždinytė

Social Media Specialist

Aleksandr Čaplia

Web Developer

Justinas Vencius



Dovilė Filmanavičiūtė


Vaiva Grainytė


Lina Lapelytė


Andrius Mamontovas


Kotryna Stankutė


Jurga Šeduikytė


Giedrius Širka


Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė


Daiva Vaitkevičienė


Vykintas Vaitkevičius


Gintaras Varnas


Gediminas Žilys



Dalia Sverdiolienė

Matas Valius Ramoška

Gintarė Grašytė

Jolanta Mažeikaitė

Valdas Kulvinskas

Kristė Elena Krupoviesaitė

Lolita Čepulytė-Stoškienė

Rūta Marija Rimkienė

Smiltė Bikulčienė

Artiom Magomedov

Onutė Grigaitė

Inga Lukoševičiūtė

Karolis Kaupas

Žymantas Morkvėnas

Rolandas Remeikis

Jurgita Vaitkutė

Valdas Povilaitis

Gailutė Mazuch

Živilė Elena Vėžienė

Saulius Pundys

Aistė Morkūnienė

Eglė Bieliauskaitė

Giedrė Nacevičienė

Ramunė Petuchovaitė

Rasa Jančiauskienė

Monika Sakalauskaitė

Eglė Martišė

Ieva Padegimaitė

Andrejus Naumovas

Mantas Sladkevičius

Jūratė Gylytė

S. Nakrošytė

Kristina Karvelytė

Ovidijus Urnižius

Vaida Statkevič

Julija Činčytė

Danielis Prokopovičius

Indrė Bagdonaitė

Jonė Leščinskaitė

Justina Aglinskaitė

Karolina Želvė

Lukas Dvarionas

Aurimas Malinauskas

Rimantė Paulauskaitė-Digaitienė

Dalia Ruskonienė

Justina Sapolaitė

Tadas Tabulevičius

Ugnė Steponavičiūtė

Ugnė Valiukaitė

Rimas Valeikis

Eglė VIsakavičiūtė

Aistė Birietaitė

Gabija Baranauskaitė

Jokūbas Sadukas

Rokas Žemaitis

Vyta Martinavičienė

Žilvinas Greičius

Kristina Karvelytė

Ada Abromaitytė

Gabrielė Bastytė

Jonas Marcinkevičius

Rytis Martikonis

Nerijus Lamanauskas

Rasa Mišeikytė

Šarūnė Pečiukonytė

Kristina Tylaitė

Ugnius Raugalas

Vaida Utkaitė

Nerijus Jurėnas

Daiva Plerpaitė

Rytis Vilkonis

Gintarė Razbadauskienė

Dovilė Riškuvienė

Mantas Želys

Agnieta Giunter

Aistė Zubrienė

Akvilina Cicėnaitė - Charles

Justė Vinder

Audrius Zujus

Andrejus Beloziorovas

Odeta Morkūnienė

Saulius Dambrauskas

Paulius Barakauskas

Vilmantas Tamulėnas

Indrė Viseckaitė

Inga Merkytė

Gintarė Jankauskaitė

Adomas Rutkauskas

Petras Vilutis

Milda Galiciūnaitė

Jolita Z.

Rūta Jagminaitė

Marius Šilinskas

Agnė Žukauskaitė

Rita Radzevičiūtė

Benas Arvydas Grigas

Žilvinas Stankevičius

Monika Lekeckaitė

Jonas Sprindys

Vidas Vilčinskas

Jolanta Pateckaja

Vilius Jurgelevičius

Vidas Kregždė

Rasa Lakytė

Gabrielė Lenkauskaitė

Aurimas Urbonavičius

Karolina Petruškevičiūtė

Marija Steiblienė

Agnė Pranskevičienė

Živilė Adulčikaitė

Monika Kuzminskaitė

Eglė Stonkė

Aistė Zubrienė

Laimutė Mozūraitienė

Agnieta Giunter

Erika Valentinavičienė

Augustė Turčinavičiūtė

Agneta Venckutė


Justina Kaminskaitė

Dangerutė Kižytė

Indrė Pušinaitytė

Gerda Striškaitė-Greičė

Sigita Ramanaitė

Rasa Sceponavičiūtė

Jūratė Glodienytė

Monika Raugevičiūtė

Ernesta Trainytė

Markas Puidokas

Vaida Janušytė

Monika Kaupaitė

Audrius Urbonavičius

Agnė Giraitytė

Emilija Latėnaitė Bieliauskienė

Kristina Andrašiūtė

Laurynas Petraitis

Elona Ilgiuvienė

Eglė Vilutienė

Rokas Gelažius

Eglė Juzėnaitė

Dovilė Murauskaitė

Benas Sabaliauskas

Viktorija Bernotaitė

Liutauras Breivė

Algis Mačiulis

Tomas Miksa

Vidas Jaunius

Ignas Siniauskas

Aistė Puidokaitė

Antanas Marcelionis

Kęstutis Petrauskas

Domas Baltakys

Kornelija Misiūnaitė

Nerijus Vabolis

Rasa Miškinytė

Paulius Vaitkūnas

Ričardas Balčiauskis

Ąžuolas Sutkus

Povilas Kamantauskas

Linas Jusionis

Aldona Rozentalienė

Laimutė Mozūraitienė

Gediminas Pučkis

Eglė Juršytė

Algirdas Jankauskas

Rasa Jurkonienė

Tomas Šilys

Vytautas Vosylius

Giedrė Belousova

Šarūnė Budrė

Virginija Imanbajeva

Kira Bykova

Laurynas Kublickas

Milda Adomaviečienė

Greta Andriulytė

Aušra Surantienė

Daiva Černytė

Ineta Juškienė

Andrius Jatulevičius

Mindaugas Vilkickas

Kristina Krasuckaitė-Chvirago

Loreta Markevičiūtė

Mantas Tarabilda

Dalia Ačienė

Indrė Vėtaitė

Agnė Šerpytytė

Ernesta Smilingytė

Prieglius Paulius Žuklys

Laurynas Vaitulevičius

Asta Višinskaitė

Daumantas Matulis

Donatas Murauskas

Ieva Drutelienė

Jūratė Radėnaitė

Lina Bagdzevičiūtė

Mantas Kočiūnas

Rudolf Nagy

Simonas Jurgionis