Forestry interventions in the Fuentes Carrionas and Fuente Cobre-Montaña Palentina SAC (ES4140011) in the province of Palencia

The mountain of Palencia shows an important representation of yew woods within the Natural Park of Fuentes Carrionas and Fuente Cobre-Montaña Palentina and its Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The Park has extensive forest stands of beech and sessile oak next to juniper in the rock of higher moutains. In this scenario we find a series of very valuable woods, the Tosande wood, an exceptional formation and one of the best in the whole of the Iberian Peninsula, where numerous unique feet have been identified and catalogued in the present project.

Other yew wods of the area, not less important, are those that are object of the actions promoted by Cesefor (partner of the project LIFE BACCATA), always with the collaboration and technical advice of the Territorial Section of Environment in the area of the Region Castilla y León (manager of the mounts of public utility where the woods are located and partner of the project LIFE BACCATA); in this case, the Territorial Section 3ª of the province of Palencia, and concretely the Forest District "Alto Pisuerga".

These woodsare subject to strong competition from beech trees and significant pressure from wild herbivores, such as deer. This results in a noticeable shortage of regenerated trees.

Despite the existing pressures on Palencia's yew woods, for more than a decade, forest management has been directed towards the conservation of the yews through actions that have being continued in the work that is now being carried out. These works are clearly selective and ringed in beech trees, repopulation with yew and holly from the seeds of the yew woods and exclusion fencing around the planted stands.

life-baccata_-palencia.pngIn the last months of this year, selective clearings and ringing in beech have been carried out in two of the stands previously characterized in the Preparatory Action of LIFE BACCATA, consisting of the characterization and diagnosis of the habitat of the yew tree. These two stands are located in Ventanilla, in the municipality of Cervera de Pisuerga.

The aim, both of the selective clearings on beech and of those ringed on this same species, is to achieve a reduction in the tree density of the upper stratum (beech forest) and an opening of holes in this canopy, which are very important for the viability of yew regeneration, by increasing the amount of light that reaches the sub-floor, while at the same time encouraging greater development of adult trees by limiting existing competition.

The performance is punctual, cutting or ringing only those beech feet located around the yew feet that show clear symptoms of stagnation and/or decay due to competition and light deficit.

The objective of the LIFE project "Conserving and restoring the yew forests in the Cantabrian Mountains" (LIFE BACCATA) is to contribute to the conservation of the yew forests in the Cantabrian Mountains, and proof of this are the actions being carried out in the Palencia mountain range.