Spanish forests

Articles in ‘Spanish forests’

Largest yew forest in Europe to be protected

June 23rd, 2008

Unlike northern Europe where most yew woods were felled, northern Spain is still home to a few remarkable patches of yew forest, the biggest of which (and the largest yew forest in Europe), is in the Sierra de Sueve in Asturias. After years of campaigns, it is now finally to be protected. The wood covers 80 hectares and is home to a remarkable 8,000 yew trees, many of which are more than 1000 years old. La Crónica Verde

Medieval Spain exported much yew wood to Northern Europe which was in demand for boat and longbow manufacture. Iberian yew wood had less knots in it than northern yews because climatic conditions and was highly valued.

A poison from yew was used by the ancient Cantabrians and Celts as a poison to prevent their capture at the hands of enemies. As in much of the world the yew was venerated as a sacred tree and formed part of rituals, no doubt much of which was due to the yew’s extreme longevity. A vestige of this is the common presence of ancient yews growing in churchyards in Galicia and Asturias. Testament to the once more common presence of yew woods is the plethora of placenames – Tejeda/Tejedal/Teixadal – meaning yew wood.

See also Yews in Spain

Carbon sequestration in Spain

December 15th, 2007

According to a new report by Gas Natural, la Sierra de la Demanda between Burgos and Soria absorbs more greenhouse gases than any other forest in Spain.  La Demanda in one year absorbed 95,244 tons of co2, twice as much as the entire Cordillera Cantabrica. (Alfredo – Forum

Calatanazor juniper forest

November 25th, 2007

The Sabinar de Calatanazor is a remarkable forest of Spanish juniper (Juniperus thurifera) in Soria near the village of Calatanazor. Read

Spanish charcoal making

September 21st, 2007

One of the most traditional economic activities associated with forests in Spain is the virtually extinct job of charcoal making. The job of the carbonero, the charcoal maker, was a hard one, requiring constant attention in all weathers. Whole families were often involved. Forestman has posted this video on the art, in this case on the common use of carrasco (holm oak). The 1984 film Tasio pays tribute to the Basque charcoal makers of the Sierra de Urbasa.