What is Gotjawal?
"Gotjawal" refers to an unmanned and unapproachable forest mixed with trees and bushes according to the Jeju Dialect Dictionary. Jeju locals have traditionally called any forest on rocky ground "Gotjawal" with “got” meaning a forest and “jawal” rocks or rubbles.The Gotjawal forest is also considered to have three important features such as "formation in rocky areas", "plants specific to this ecosystem", and "rain water penetrating to the groundwater aquifer".
Where are Gotjawal forests?
Gotjawal forests are scattered along the east-west axis of the island spanning Kyorae-ri, Seonheul-ri, and Songdang-ri, with more found throughout the wide area between the island’s midland and coastal area including Hwasoon-ri, Andeok-myeon and Jeoji-ri, Hankyung-myeon.
Distributed mostly along the island’s midland with the altitude of between 200 to 400 meters, Gotjawal forests have traditionally played a role of buffer between the inhabited coastal areas and the mountainous regions used as grazing ranch.
Gotjawal forests run along the east-west axis of the island, which is noted for its slow slope. Four key Gotjawal forests have been singled out so far for their excellently preserved condition: Hankyung-Andeok Gotjawal and Aewol Gotjawal in the west, Jocheon-Hamdeok Gotjawal and Gujwa-Seongsan Gotjawal in the east.