Habitat:  Oak woodland on limestone

Area: 2,500 dunams

Handed over: 2,500 dunams

Land owner: Government

Ecozone: Central highlands

Annual rainfall: 400-500 mm

Nearby village: Tarqomia, Beit Kahel, Beit Ola

About Wadi Al-Quff

It is located in the west of Hebron, it is about 6 km away from the way that connects the city to the western villages. The area is part of the Hebron district and its area is about 2500 dunams.

Could it be that Adam and Eve, after being driven from the Garden of Eden, lived in the area of Wadi Al-Quff? For the moment, it is only a rumor that adds to the Biblical character of this nature reserve, located 6km west of the Biblical city of Hebron (Al-Khalil). Whether or not it is true, the picturesque valley of Wadi Al-Quff is reminiscent of Eden. In Wadi Al-Quff, different hiking trails await you. You may decide to scale the terrace rocks near the Haskeh Forest, overlooking a wide expanse towards the waters of the distant Mediterranean within eyesight. Or walk through the valley of orchards with grapes, plums, cactuses, and olive trees at your side. Today’s villages surrounding upper area of the park lend an image of the Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic and Ottoman empires of centuries past. The current landscape of Wadi Al-Quff is a window into this rich history, including the more recent British and Jordanian protected areas from 20th century (the planted forest consists of mostly non-native trees). Today, picnicking families enjoy relaxing afternoons into the twilight hours amongst the traditional orchards. Inside the reserve, locals celebrate weddings by presenting newlyweds with tree branch as a sign of peace. 

Beauty, Wildlife, and Wonder:

During any season of the year, the Wadi Al-Quff Nature Reserve offers a variety of distinct flora and fauna to observe. During the summer months, flowering thyme dots the hills with purple flowers and in the Fall and Spring, migrating birds are abundant as they soar high above. Throughout the park, the semi-natural forested areas cascade into the valleys, consisting of Mediterranean forest species. Amidst the forest, natural rock formations host a variety of smaller park inhabitants, such as geckos, spiders, and lizards. The typical shrub species in Wadi Al-Quff are buckthorn (Rhamnus palaesthinus), oak (Quericus calliprines), olivier (“Hour Tree”), and Eucalyptus, most of which were introduced. Nurseries were established in the park, during the British Mandate-era (1920s), later overseen by King Hussein of Jordan who taught courses in agriculture to children in the area. Agriculture has flourished here, as you will undoubtedly notice the rows of neatly-tended grapes hanging in the shade. Surrounding the agricultural areas are cactus plants, which were introduced roughly 2,000 years ago from India to serve as a natural fence to prevent pests. 

On your entrance to the orchards, the slopes of grassy and forested areas flank both of sides of the trail. Leading up the hill, a hiking trail of moderate difficulty leads to a panoramic view.  Although the park contains remnants of human civilization, such as the ancient Roman cave containing a cistern (seen from the hilltop looking East), it is the birds that remain the gatekeepers to the park. Pay close attention to the sounds of the songbirds, as they reverberate throughout the valley. You may also see breeding birds feeding their chicks or building a nest (e.g. the rare Syrian woodpecker), migratory soaring birds passing over your head (i.e. White Storks), or raptors going for a hunt or flocking in the park. At your feet, foxes (Husaini) and rabbits may follow behind you. Experience the jovial atmosphere of Wadi Al-Quff to see everything it has to offer firsthand.

Use of natural resources and ecosystem services:

Wadi Al-Quff is an important grazing area, particularly to people of Tarqomia who own 3,000 head of sheep and goat. Also Wild plants are used mainly for household use of Jerusalem Sage, Biblical-hyssop, and various edible mushrooms. Fuel wood is limited (1-5% of fuel demand of villages in the vicinity) because of enforcement of reserve. Wadi Al-Quff is very important recreation area for the entire Hebron Governorate (particularly Hebron City), partly because a small amusement park was erected at the site by Beit Kahel Village Council.

Pressures and threats:

The natural forest at Wadi Al-Quff has already been modified significantly through widespread afforestation with Aleppo pine, the establishment of a small amusement park and intense natural resource use. Current pressures include grazing (particularly relevant to the natural rejuvenation of the Mediterranean oak forest, habitat destruction, logging/fuel wood removal, and recreation-related waste accumulation. An additional threat to the forest, particularly the pine forest, are forest fires.