Forests of Atlantic Europe 1:

Forests of soft coasts

  • Edward P. Farrell Sequoia, Mart Lane, Foxrock, Dublin 18.
Keywords: Coastal forests, dune stabilisation, Aquitaine, the Landes, maritime pine


For centuries, forests have been established on coastal dunes in an effort to stabilise shifting sands which were making habitation of coastal areas difficult, if not impossible. The greatest area of coastal dunes in Europe is in Aquitaine, in south-west France. The paper describes techniques developed in the 19th century to stabilise mobile dunes and the contribution played by dune forests in the process. The practice developed in Aquitaine has been taken up in many other countries. Forests continue to play a role in dune stabilisation, but in a more site-specific manner, with greater concern for the conservation of the dune ecosystem. Over two centuries, the primary function of the coastal dune forests of south-west France has changed from coastal protection, to resin production, to wood production and in recent decades, to recreation.
How to Cite
Farrell, E. (2012) “Forests of Atlantic Europe 1:”, Irish Forestry, pp. 204-213. Available at: (Accessed: 22September2023).