Forests of Atlantic Europe 2: Forest grazing in Portugal and Spain.

  • Edward P. Farrell Sequoia, Mart Lane, Foxrock, Dublin 18.
Keywords: Silvopastoralism, multifunctionality, montado, wood-pasture.


Forest grazing, one of the oldest examples of multifunctional forest management has been adapted to plantation forests in Galicia, in north-west Spain, with the aim of increasing profitability while decreasing the risk of fire. The principal plantation species in Galicia, maritime pine (Pinus pinaster D. Don) and Eucalyptus globulus Labill. can be grown at wide spacing and thus lend themselves to grass production systems, particularly early in the rotation. However, Pinus radiata (D. Don) although a minor species in Galicia, is the favoured species for intensively managed silvopastoral systems. The wood-pastures, treed grasslands or heath-lands of central and southern Portugal and Spain represent the so-called European savannah known as montado, is well-suited to the traditional agroforestry practised in the region. Montado, a mixture of woodlands and scrub, is widely practised, principally in conjunction with cork oak production. The inter-tree spacing is used most commonly for pasture, but also for arable cropping. As in Galicia, management must take account of the ever-present risk of fire. While neither of the systems described have a direct application in Ireland, they provide us with different perspectives on multiple-use and open to us the prospect of new, imaginative approaches to the multifunctional use of plantation forests.
How to Cite
Farrell, E. P. (2013). Forests of Atlantic Europe 2: Forest grazing in Portugal and Spain. Irish Forestry, 220-231. Retrieved from