The first Higher Forestry School was founded in Athens in 1917. In 1927, it relocated to Thessaloniki, and became one of the first schools of the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics of the newly founded Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. In 1937, the School of Agriculture and the School of Forestry were organized into a new faculty, the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry. In 1981, the School of Forestry was organized into a single-school faculty, the Faculty of Forestry and Natural Environment, and operated as an independent faculty for the first time in the history of forestry education in Greece. In 1982, the Faculty was renamed to School of Forestry, and in 1983 to School of Forestry and Natural Environment.
In the same year, the Faculty of Geotechnical Sciences was founded, consisting of three schools: the School of Agriculture, the School of Forestry and Natural Environment, and the School of Veterinary Medicine.
In 2004, the Senate decided to abolish the Faculty of Geotechnical Sciences and organize its schools into single-school faculties. The Faculty of Forestry and Natural Environment acquired its present status as an independent, single-school faculty pursuant to a decision taken on July 11th, 2005.
The Faculty of Forestry and Natural Environment is divided into five Departments:
- Harvesting and Technology of Forest Products
- Range Science and Wildlife – Fresh Water Fisheries
- Forest and Water Engineering
- Planning and Development of Natural Resources
- Forest Production – Forest Protection – Natural Environment
Moreover, the Faculty includes 17 laboratories, a library, a design room and a computer centre.
Teaching and research activities carried out at the Faculty of Forestry and Natural Environment of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, as well as books, papers and articles written and published by its faculty members, along with various other tasks undertaken by its students and staff, have greatly contributed to the development of forestry in Greece, the proper management and development of Greek forests and natural resources in general, as well as to the protection of the natural environment of Greece.
Students are provided with practical training in the two university forest reserves which are part of the Faculty of Forestry and Natural Environment (the university forest reserve in Pertouli on the Pindos Mountain range, which covers an area of 3,296.59 hectares, and the university forest reserve in Taxiarchis in Chalkidiki, which covers an area of about 5,800 hectares). The university forest reserves are administered by the University Forest Administration and Management Fund, a legal entity of public law.
The Faculty of Forestry and Natural Environment also consists of:
- the Forest Botanic Garden, housed in the facilities of the Faculty in Foinikas,
- the Broad-leaved Plants Research Centre - the Conifer Research Centre,
- the Rangeland Research Centre.