Pascal Xicluna /

How can you recognize the main tree species present in metropolitan France? What animal left this footprint? To answer questions like these, the French National Office of Forests (ONF) developed an application called Keys to the Forest (“Clés de forêt”) ten years ago, and a new version was just launched in March that includes a more intuitive and fun user design experience.

Developed with the support of the ONF naturalist network, the application allows hikers to learn more about and to recognize the trees and fauna of French forests.

What’s new? Among the new major features is the possibility to recognize around 15 different nocturnal and diurnal birds of prey in flight.

Different quizzes also allow you to test your forest knowledge, with a points system unlocking certain “secret” abilities to discover the forest and its mysteries.

Finally, a selection of photos taken from the exhibition “Des forêts et des Hommes” from the GoodPlanet foundation is also available for perusal on the app.

The app allows users to recognize numerous tree by fruit or leaf. The 34 main species present in mainland France are all referenced in the app.

Several detailed information files allow users to get to know the trees and their ranges, and users can upload their own photos.