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Põhja-Kõrvemaa Nature Reserve

Category Natural attractions, Nature Reserves
Jaama 7, Aegviidu alev, Aegviidu vald, Harjumaa, 74501
Coordinates 59.285313, 25.611427
GPS: 59° 17' 7" N, 25° 36' 41" E
Phone (+372) 604 7212
Mobile (+372) 534 40549
E-mail aegviidu.looduskeskus@rmk.ee

Põhja-Kõrvemaa Nature Reserve was established in the end of 1991, a few months after Estonia regained its independence. Throughout the Soviet Era a large part of the nature reserve's current territory was used by Soviet Army for military training and as such was closed to the public. The proving grounds were established in 1947 and in 1953 expanded to 33 304 ha (333 km2), making it the biggest Soviet military polygon in Estonia. Still, the Soviet Army damaged only about 10% of the proving grounds' territory, leaving the rest intact. Due to unsuitability for agriculture (poor and/or badly drained soils) the whole region has always been very sparsely populated – in the beginning of 1950s the population density was around 1 people per km2 – but still a few hundred people were displaced together with the creation of proving ground.

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