In Galicia, 97% of the forestry property is private, 64% belongs to private owners and 33% belongs to a Neighbourhood Association called “Comunidades de Montes Veciñais en Man Común”. Just 3% of the forestry property is public.
On your way to Finisterre, the council of Mazaricos is the one with more forests belonging to Neighbourhood Associations , and the Miradoiro de Corzón (Corzón lookout) is located in one of them. From this lookout you will see different tree species, activities and works carried out in the forest, and a beautiful panoramic view of “Encoro da Fervenza” (a reservoir). Several routes in this area will allow you to get to know the fauna as well as the vegetation associated to this place.
The PEFC forestry certification highlights the importance of a sustainable forestry management carried out by owners and agents.
Galicia is an Autonomous Community with important forestry characteristics. Actually, it is one of the few where a proper forestry area does exist. Two thirds of the Galician area are considered forest.
In Galicia there are three basic types of forestry property, public forests (they belong to the government of the Autonomous Community or to Local entities, they can be classified for Public use or not), neighbourhood forest associations (montes veciñais en man común) (collective private nature) and private forests (individual private nature).
It is important to highlight that most of the forest territories, more than 97%, belong to private owners and neighbourhood associations, covering 2 millions of forestry hectares.
The number of private owners is over 650.000, with an average area of about 2-3 hectares, divided at the same time in different plots, what makes quite difficult a professional management. Regarding the neighbourhood forest associations, there are more than 3.300, covering nearly 700.000 hectares, with an average area of 220 hectares per forest.
Forestry association is really important in our territory, since it makes it easy to advise and provide with several services to these private owners. Some of the owners associations in Galicia were pioneer in the processes of organization of land owners in the South of Europe. The associations to sell wood are other outstanding initiative.
Neighbourhood Forests. Miradoiro de Corzon.
In this stop, you are in the Neighbourhood forest of Corzón, so, it is really important to know what a Neighbourhood Forest is.
They belong to Neighbourhood associations as social groups, not as administrative entities, independent of their origin, their productive possibilities, their exploitation and their farming use. They agree to use it without paying any fees, since the titularity is the group, not the individuals living at that specific place at that specific time.
The property is private and collective, corresponding to the neighbours whose permanent address is located in the area traditionally assigned its use, and who do any activity related to them.
This type of properties are inseparable, inalienable, imprescriptible and they cannot be seizable.
According to the data of the Rexistro de MVMC (Neighbourhood Forest Register), nowadays there are 3.312 classified forests, a total of 664.230 hectares, but their distribution is not homogeneous in the 4 Galician provinces, being Ourense the one with a highest number, 39,2%, and A Coruña with just 9,1%.
The average of co-proprietors per Neighbourhood forest is 44, reaching a total in Galicia of 122.734.
This type of forest has an area which allows diversification of production and use: wood, grazing, firewood, mushrooms, honey, leisure, hunting, protection and value enhancement of heritage, environmental preservation, landscape… They cover different aspects: social, economic and environmental.
In the environment of Corzón lookout, you can visit necrópoles de Mámoas de Pedras Miúdase de Castelo:
Due to the presence of heritage elements and a rocky land, the forest does not have many trees. The pine is the main species, and you will also see how holly trees grow spontaneously.
In recent times, other uses and benefits apart from the forestry land use are being developed, so the neighbours can feel connected with their forest, such as mycological reserves (where the mushrooms collection is regulated, pointing out the value of the resource and avoiding overuse) or apiaries, which you will see in the forest you are right now.
The use of the resin is also gaining importance in Galicia, so this is an economic support for the Community. This also implies the creation of job vacancies directly and indirectly for the local people.
The introduction of forest grazing in this type of forests, in many cases, is essential to control the vegetation and biomass in the forest. Horses, goats, and cows are the key to prevent fire. Each species play a different role, complementing with silvicolous activities, biomass strips and creation of fire-breaks.
From the lookout you can start a circular ornithological route 20 km long, which passes along a part of the Path to Finisterre, and then goes to Monte de Aro (where a panoramic prismatic was installed) and the Encoro da Fervenza (a reservoir). You will find some information about the birds and vegetation of the area in some of the panels and QR codes along the route.
Encoro da Fervenza
Encoro da Fervenza (a reservoir), built in 1966 for the hydroelectric use of the Xallas river, which is located between the councils of Dumbría and Mazaricos. Before its existence, the energy was obtained adapting a continuous electricity dynamo to a hydraulic wheel of a mill, moved by the water of the river. The transmission of the energy produced was limited to short distances, so just the closest population centres could be electrified, mainly their street lighting. That happened in O Logoso (a little village located just before the fork where you have to choose if you go to Muxía or if you go directly to Finisterre); however, many of its neighbours rejected the service because they thought that their houses may burn down.
Encoro da Fervenza covers an area of 1.250 ha, it has a capacity of 103hm3, and the dam is 27 m high and 127 m long. Its construction changed the life of the inhabitants of the area radically, since it flooded little villages and many plots and forests, even changing the climate, which is more humid and foggy. But it also became the shelter of a great diversity of birds, which enjoy its calm water. You can see curlews, great crested grebes, common pochards and tufted ducks, cormorants and grey herons, black kites, bramblings or common reed buntings.
Downstream, you can find three more reservoirs: Ponte Olveira, Castrelo (from this one you can see the second stop which we advise you to do) and Santa Uxía; the last one is for urban use, not industrial, like the others.
In the village of Ézaro, the river Xallas flows directly into the Atlantic Ocean, in a free fall of over 100 m; It is the only waterfall in Europe doing so, so we strongly recommend you to go there as soon as you can. If you still feel like visiting more spectacular waterfalls, Mazaricos council has just set in motion the Ruta das Fervenzas, (Waterfalls route) which takes you to Gosolfre, Fírvado, Noveira, Vioxo-Chacín and Santa Locaia, through beautiful oak groves and native vegetation.
The role of PEFC
The certification of the Sustainable Forestry Management provides with numerous benefits to owners and agents.
A xestión forestal é un proceso a longo prazo, e os resultados das boas prácticas a miúdo só se aprecian despois de décadas. A certificación forestal PEFC pon en valor a xestión forestal sostible que realizan propietarios e xestores, sendo avalada por unha terceira parte independente. Ademais, a certificación PEFC está perfectamente adaptada aos nosos montes, por posuír un Sistema Español de Certificación Forestal, creado por e para os silvicultores, propietarios e xestores forestais españois. Este Sistema nacional, ademais cumpre cos máis estritos requisitos internacionais.
Certification adapted to the smallest areas
The PEFC forestry certification is perfectly adapted to the owners of small forest areas, as well as familiar properties, making accessible the certification for everyone, taking into account the special needs, the cost and the operational structures of the private owners, families and local communities.
The types of grouped certifications, Regional or Associations, consider the joining of several owners in the same certificate, making it attainable and practical.
From the 42.000 owners and certified forest agents in Spain, more than 33.000 are Galician.
5 STEPS TO CERTIFY YOUR FOREST
1. Have a Management plan and it should be approved by the appropriate authority or the suitable professional association.
The management plan is a document which establishes the forest management individually or collectively.
2. Get a Sustainable Forestry management according the National law UNE 162.002 about the criteria and indicators of sustainable forestry management.
The law UNE 162.002 is national, it is adapted to the territorial reality of Spanish forests and it considers their multipurpose. It includes several indicators which are included in the 6 criteria of sustainability: biodiversity, productive functions, mitigation of climate change, health and vitality of the forests, protective functions of the forests and socioeconomic aspects.
3. Apply for your certificate.
3.1 Apply for joining an existing certificate.
You should know the requirements, as well as the rights and obligations to join a group or regional certificate. 70% of the certified national area is part of a regional certificate, and more than 75% of the forestry experts and owners are part of a group certificate.
3.2 Apply for a sustainable forestry management certificate.
If you haven’t joined an existing certificate, you can create a new applicant entity and get your own certificate, which can be individual, collective or regional.
4. Collaborate with auditing processes.
5. Get the certificate of Sustainable Forestry Management and the PEFC trademark licence.
After the auditing process, the certification entity provides with the Sustainable Forestry Management Certificate to the applying entity in the pertinent modality. Finally, PEFC Spain or PEFC Galicia (our Region) gives a trademark licence with a specific number which is associated to the Sustainable Forestry Management Certificate given by the certification entity.