For as long as anyone can remember, the grove nearby Maardu Manor has always been known to have been a sacred ancestral gathering place - that is why locals were shocked to find out that a company named Eremka had begun clearcutting the area on April 2.
The scandal spurred from a misunderstanding between the Environmental Board and the National Heritage Board, as the latter had not yet approved the parameters of the forest to be chopped down at the landowner's request. The National Heritage Board stepped in to halt the illegal clearcutting, at least temporarily, reported Eesti Päevaleht.
Rebala's sacred grove has been a national heritage zone since Soviet times, but the borders of the area were not put in place until this year, only after Eremka applied for a forest licence in Maardu.
"We have always known that this grove is sacred and under the protection of the state," said Jaanus Hiis, elder of the town of Saha. "But recently the national heritage sign bordering the forest went missing, and then the lumber machines showed up."