It is important to learn about and properly manage forests in order to adapt them to a changing climate and guarantee their future.

Today, Catalan forests are expanding. Because of the gradual abandonment of lumbering, which is not as profitable as it used to be in the past, forests have encroached on former crop fields and covered fields that were used as pastureland until recently. This entails the appearance of continuous forest stands which are barely cared for and generate a high fuel load.

Furthermore, in recent times, these forests have become prized spaces of leisure activities accessible to everyone. Therefore, it is important to know about and properly manage the forests to prevent potential disasters and make the most of them.

Forest preserves

forest preserves

These are mature forest stands whose characteristics are therefore very different from younger or intensively-managed forests. The goal is to conserve and guarantee the survival of these mature forests and their assets.

The Foundation manages several forest preserves around Catalonia, from the Pyrenees to Els Ports.

Old forests in the Pyrenees

In the Pyrenees, specifically in the Pallars Sobirà region, some forests have not been felled for over 100 years. In order to guarantee the survival of these “old forests”, the Foundation has gradually created 25 forest preserves. Each of the preserves, which total 141.8 hectares divided among the townships of Alins, Esterri de Cardós, Farrera, Llavorsí and Vall de Cardós, have a different stipulated timeframe, ranging from 20 to 40 years.

They are old sub-Alpine forests of Scots pine, mountain pine and fir trees which have scarcely or never exploited for lumber, where monumental specimens up to 300 years old (!) can be found. They are also the habitat of threatened and scarce species such as the wood grouse, the boreal owl and the black woodpecker, and many of these shelters where they live are part of the Alt Pirineu Nature Park.

Beech in Fontanils

At Vall d’en Bas, the Foundation manages part of the Fontanils estate, specifically 132 hectares of it. This estate is the home to a 4,5 hectare forest preserve meant to conserve old forest and allow it to evolve naturally.

The fact that lumber has not been extracted from it for almost two centuries means that today Fontanils boasts a diversity and ecological functioning quite similar to a mature forest with hardly any changes stemming from human use.

Forest preserves of LIFE Pinassa

Technical forest management and improvement plans

Forest repopulation


This is an important part of forest management since it contributes to protecting the soil, diversifying habitats, preventing fires, regenerating lost forest, etc.

The Foundation promotes several forest repopulations

Oak Project

An initiative which aims to recover the oak and holm oak forests in the wooded zones within the Mediterranean and sub-Mediterranean climate of Catalonia to prevent fires and manage and improve the landscape and environment.

The actions include planting 100 oaks and holm oaks to create a meadow in Cal Cuques near Manresa.

A meadow is an area with trees, though not densely planted, and it is meant to be used primarily as pastureland. Meadows with oaks and holm oaks are valuable because these trees make acorns, which are highly nutritious. On the other hand, in the Pla de Bages, a region where pine trees dominate, a meadow with oaks and holm oaks can increase the biodiversity and landscape and recreational value of the area, while also acting as a firebreak because it is much less flammable than pine trees.

Alinyà Mountain

In the area around the Santa Pelaia hermitage, 850 black pine saplings and 150 fruit tree saplings were gotten from a nursery near the repopulation area in order to ensure that they were properly acclimated. 

Let's plant the future

In 2008, the Foundation worked in conjunction with Catalunya Ràdio to hold a fun, grassroots tree planting in 35 forests in 35 locations around Catalonia. More than 40,000 people participated, with more than 1,000 volunteers, and 70 hectares of land were reforested.
This planting was held as part of the United Nations’ The Billion Tree Campaign.

We're planting a forest for you

This is an initiative in which the Foundation, working in conjunction with BOSCAT and the Tres Castells association of forest owners, planted 10,000 saplings in an area in the township of Balsareny (Bages) which had been deforested by a fire in 2005.
Specifically, the action was conducted in the Serrat del Maurici estates, which occupy a total of 10 hectares. Approximately 10% of the trees were planted using a Waterboxx, an innovative system which allows the sapling to be watered for the first two years after it is planted. 

River walk from Món Sant Benet to Navarcles

On the banks of the Llobregat River, there is an 800-metre route where the nearby residents often stroll and spend their free time. Part of this path has been repopulated with trees (poplars, willows, elms and downy oak) and shrubs (elderberry, dogwood, laurustinus and barberry), creating a riverine forest which enhances the biodiversity in the area. With this action, which enlisted the participation of almost 300 people, around 400 specimens of these tree species were replanted.

Forest management to increase the carbon stock


The Foundation has conducted a study estimating the carbon fixation capacity of the forests within its spaces to demonstrate their role as carbon reservoirs.
Every year, almost 16,000 tonnes of CO2 are fixed, equalling 2 tonnes per hectare (a figure equivalent to 239,000 airplane trips from Barcelona to Madrid). Seven of the spaces concentrate 99% of this absorption. Alinyà Mountain is the most important space, accounting for 79% of the total.

Forest management to prevent fires

cow and montserrat

Forest management fosters extensive livestock husbandry in woodlands with a high risk of fire, taking advantage of the animals’ feeding to naturally manage the landscape and eliminate excess understory, thus lowering the risk of fire.
Different initiatives like the Guardabosc project (with the Món Rural Foundation) and the European Life Montserrat project in the Montserrat - Coll de Can Maçana Nature Space are successful examples of this tool.