The forestry exhibition presents the forest as a biological community. In the climatic conditions of Hungary the forest is the richest and most complex ecosystem. Forests are defined by trees, but they are also inhabited by several thousand plant and animal species. The history of forest management depicts the process during which human interference in forests developed from early exploitation to modern multi-purpose planned management. In Hungary several relics of this historical process survived, from the time of the conquest of the Carpathian Basin, including those of grazing, clearing in order to gain arable lands, large-scale deforestations caused by mining and ore treatment, and especially the first regulations of forest management related to mining.
The 18th-19th centuries saw the development of the scientific and legal bases for planned, long-term forest management, but it was also a time of increasing exploitation and deforestation. In Hungary the first modern forestry act was passed in 1879, according to which in most of the forests any sort of economic activity could only take place under state supervision.
Prior to World War I, 26.2 per cent of Hungary was forested; this ratio dropped to 11.8 per cent as a result of territorial losses after the war. The 12 per cent ratio of the post World War II era has increased to 18.4 per cent by the present day. The afforestation project was realised with wide popular collaboration, therefore the whole of society has a just claim to any material and non-material asset from the forests.
Since the 1970s there have been attempts to treat Hungarian forests according to the requirements of triple-use management. This means that apart from tree breeding, forests have to provide protective (erosion and flood control, conservation) as well as social-recreational services. Therefore the exhibition also presents the plantation of new forests as a possible solution for the deterioration of the natural environment, which is also supported from the standpoint of rational land development.