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Koukounaria Forest

Skiathos is the most western island of the Northern Sporades. The area of Koukounaries is situated in the southern part of the island of Skiathos and consists of : a) a mixed forest spanning over 14,5 hectares consisting of Pinus halepensis, Pinis pinea, and a sub-level of hard-leaved shrubs that descend to the coastline, b) the Strophylia Lake covering a 9.5 hectare area to the north, and c) a sea zone occupying half the area. 

The whole area is bordered to the north, east and west by the road which reaches into the sea at a depth of 20m. Lake Strophylia is connected to the sea by a natural, narrow channel, often without water, found on the eastern side of the forest. The area lies almost at the level of the sea, with a maximum altitude of 1.50 m. The pine-forest has come about through secondary succession, replacing the vegetation dominating from Quercus ilex.

In the area all activity has been banned, with the exception of a golf course, the conduct of scientific experiments, and the construction of small tourist units providing that they will be located outside the confines of the forestland and they will ensure a high degree of environmental protection. 

The forest covers an area of 500-600 m in length and 200-250 m in width and is bordered on the east by a natural channel which has been artificially widened and deepened. The rich sub-level of evergreen broadleaf trees, the accumulation of dry material, the lack of sunlight and the anthropogenic disturbances on the one hand worsen water conditions that are favorable to the growth of the umbrella pine, and on the other hand, essentially render its natural revival impossible.

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