Archive for the ‘Traditional activities’ Category

Hunting losing popularity in Spain

Monday, December 5th, 2016


The number of registered hunters in Spain as of 2015 was 333,000, a fall of 24% in 5 years, a trend that has continued for the last 30 years. And those that still still hunt do so less. Rural depopulation is clearly a factor though I suspect the biggest reason is that the rural youth are losing interest as there are just more things to do today. El País.

I had a student a few years back whose father ran a farm some 70km to the north of Barcelona. Although Pere’s father stopped hunting many years ago, most of Josep’s  friends still hunted – mainly wild boar, but none of their children – Pere included – had taken up the pastime. My partner Mónica also pointed out that many younger women are no longer  prepared to do all the back work, that which never gets mentioned, involved after hunting such as skinning the hares and plucking the partridges.

Image of wild boar hunt from a Roman mosiac found in Mérida [Mosaico de Las Tiendas (MNAR Mérida)]

A Spanish Shepherd by Richard Ansdell

Thursday, December 1st, 2016


A Spanish Shepherd (1863) by Liverpool-born Richard Ansdell. The artist had travelled in southern Spain in the 1850s.


Trapping birds with limesticks – ‘paranys’

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

dying-birdSometimes it is hard to know what to write. I want to write about positive things and I want to show people what an amazing country I have chosen to make my home. I have many friends that work hard to protect the stunning place that is called Iberia. However, sometimes I am left speechless with a writers block that I fear will never become unstuck… Even though the press release from The Committee Against Bird Slaughter is (CABS) is over a year old I have spoken to a few people living in the Valencia area and they tell me that the practice of bird trapping with glue continues as normal… My mind will become unstuck and soon I will write again. the birds caught in these awful traps I am afraid have a different fate waiting for them.

For the first time ever CABS volunteers have managed to film the massacre with low-light cameras. “The material demonstrates that thousands of wild birds are cruelly killed and that numerous protected and endangered species are among the victims” states CABS President Heinz Schwarze. The video shows Thrushes and Blackcaps loudly and in panic fighting for their lives among the corpses of the conspecifics.

The website about this subject can be found here and you will see a link at the bottom of that page to sign a letter to be sent to the authorities… Do it now please?

And of course the subject can be discussed over at the Iberianature Forum


Cockling in Doñana

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Cockling is one of the few traditional activities permitted in Doñana National Park. 

Coquineros en las playas de Doñana

Black poplars of Aragon

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010


I came across this attractive powerpoint in English celebrating the importance of black poplar in forming the landscape in the southern Aragon. The valleys are scattered with traditional pollards which look glorious especially in spring. From Ancient Tree Forum. From the book El chopo cabecero en el sur de Aragon, la identitad de un paisaje. Patrimonio olvidado‘ by Chabier de Jaime Loren and Fernando Herrero Loma.

Spanish charcoal making

Friday, 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.

Hunting the frozen wolf

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

There’s a remarkeble series of photos at Fnac in Barcelona (Plaza Catalunya) by Spanish photographer Ricardo Casas on the sub-culture of hunting in Spain. The exhibition is entitled “Hunting the frozen wolf”. Brutal, repulsive, surreal and poetic. Read critique here

Exhibition is here. Ricardo Casas also has online exhibitions on Rustic Golf, Tuning and Torrevieja here