European Rewilding Network
057

Froxán Common Woodlands

Community approach to restore the natural woodlands habitats

The community overseeing the Froxán Common Woodlands in Spain have overseen the restoration of its forest habitats.
Froxán Common Woodlands
This 1956 aerial picture shows the extent of mining degradation.
Froxán Commons

The Froxán Common Woodlands is a 100-hectare expanse of community land located in the Spanish region of  Galicia. Over the past century mining in the area has led to severe environmental degradation here, while invasive forest species, such as Acacia and Eucalyptus, have also been introduced.

In 2002 the Froxán Commons community regained full control of this land, after almost a century of government administration. Over the last two years they have worked to restore natural forest habitats and sealed off mining pits and shafts, in close cooperation with schools and environmental NGOs, fostering awareness on alternative and sustainable ecoforestry practices.  The aim is to fully restore the natural habitats of the woodlands, and to use the process as an opportunity for education, building social awareness and the generation of revenue and new economic opportunities for the community.

Project: Froxán Common Woodlands
Region: Froxán (Lousame, Galicia)
Type of protection: Indigenous and Community Conserved Area (ICCA)
Habitat types: Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior, Temperate Atlantic wet heaths with Erica ciliaris and Erica tetralix, Arborescent matorral with Laurus nobilis, Galicio-Portuguese oak woods with Quercus robur and Quercus pyrenaica, Forest vegetation with Castanea sativa and Caves not open to the public.
Keystone species: Iberain wolf
Fauna (mega) species present: Wild boar, European badger, Iberian wolf
Aim and vision: To fully restore the natural habitats of the Froxán Common Woodlands, maximizing the possibilities of the process itself as an opportunity for learning, education, building social awareness and continue to generate revenue and new economic alternatives for the community.
Sustainable self-managed community-based restoration, rewilding and conservation efforts, that are compatible with ecoforestry management practices, can bring about significant short and medium term shifts improving biodiversity, landscape and ecosystem services.
Uniqueness of the project: Galician common lands are a unique form of property tenrure in Europe. Traditionally, commons were managed with a multigenerational outlook aimed at improving ecosystem assets for future generations. Recently, this has shifted to quick-profit exotic forest mono-cultures that reduced biodiversity and fostered wildfires.
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, Research
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: To fully eliminate the most invasive exotic species, namely Acacia decurrens and Acacia dealbata, to further reduce Eucalyptus to under 10% of the territory, to consolidate and expand alluvial and oak forests and to improve watershed retention capacities, by fully restoring wet heaths in upper lands.
Results so far: Around 90% of area degraded by mining has been restored, filling up pits and shafts and regenerating surrounding forests. Acacia has been reduced by 50%. Eucalyptus has been reduced by 30%. In these areas, forest succession has been maximized as a natural strategy to allow autochtonous forest species in mid- and understory to thrive and take over. In March 2017, the Froxán Commons was admitted into the UN Environment Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCA) Registry.
Inspirational value: Schools and parents associations have been a strong ally in recent years, fostering the connection between urban families and common land. Children (mostly 1-6) and their parents have been directly responsible for the regeneration of areas previously taken over with Acacia, and come back year after year to take care of the trees they planted and their surroundings.
Experience you would like to share: Community-led practices, educational possibilities for rewilding, participatory guarantee systems for products coming from wild areas.
Experience you would like to gain: Learn about where to lead the community in the future, including possibilities for nature-based tourism and other sources of community revenue.
Map
Country
Spain
Start year
2002
Size (ha)
100
Area type
Forest-grassland mosaic
Natural process
Other
Flagship species
Other
Froxán Common Woodlands
The community overseeing the Froxán Common Woodlands in Spain have overseen the restoration of its forest habitats.
Froxán Common Woodlands
This 1956 aerial picture shows the extent of mining degradation.
Froxán Commons

The Froxán Common Woodlands is a 100-hectare expanse of community land located in the Spanish region of  Galicia. Over the past century mining in the area has led to severe environmental degradation here, while invasive forest species, such as Acacia and Eucalyptus, have also been introduced.

In 2002 the Froxán Commons community regained full control of this land, after almost a century of government administration. Over the last two years they have worked to restore natural forest habitats and sealed off mining pits and shafts, in close cooperation with schools and environmental NGOs, fostering awareness on alternative and sustainable ecoforestry practices.  The aim is to fully restore the natural habitats of the woodlands, and to use the process as an opportunity for education, building social awareness and the generation of revenue and new economic opportunities for the community.

Map
Country
Spain
Start year
2002
Size (ha)
100
Area type
Forest-grassland mosaic
Natural process
Other
Flagship species
Other
Specification
Project: Froxán Common Woodlands
Region: Froxán (Lousame, Galicia)
Type of protection: Indigenous and Community Conserved Area (ICCA)
Habitat types: Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior, Temperate Atlantic wet heaths with Erica ciliaris and Erica tetralix, Arborescent matorral with Laurus nobilis, Galicio-Portuguese oak woods with Quercus robur and Quercus pyrenaica, Forest vegetation with Castanea sativa and Caves not open to the public.
Keystone species: Iberain wolf
Fauna (mega) species present: Wild boar, European badger, Iberian wolf
Description
Aim and vision: To fully restore the natural habitats of the Froxán Common Woodlands, maximizing the possibilities of the process itself as an opportunity for learning, education, building social awareness and continue to generate revenue and new economic alternatives for the community.
Sustainable self-managed community-based restoration, rewilding and conservation efforts, that are compatible with ecoforestry management practices, can bring about significant short and medium term shifts improving biodiversity, landscape and ecosystem services.
Uniqueness of the project: Galician common lands are a unique form of property tenrure in Europe. Traditionally, commons were managed with a multigenerational outlook aimed at improving ecosystem assets for future generations. Recently, this has shifted to quick-profit exotic forest mono-cultures that reduced biodiversity and fostered wildfires.
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, Research
Achievements
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: To fully eliminate the most invasive exotic species, namely Acacia decurrens and Acacia dealbata, to further reduce Eucalyptus to under 10% of the territory, to consolidate and expand alluvial and oak forests and to improve watershed retention capacities, by fully restoring wet heaths in upper lands.
Results so far: Around 90% of area degraded by mining has been restored, filling up pits and shafts and regenerating surrounding forests. Acacia has been reduced by 50%. Eucalyptus has been reduced by 30%. In these areas, forest succession has been maximized as a natural strategy to allow autochtonous forest species in mid- and understory to thrive and take over. In March 2017, the Froxán Commons was admitted into the UN Environment Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCA) Registry.
Exchange
Inspirational value: Schools and parents associations have been a strong ally in recent years, fostering the connection between urban families and common land. Children (mostly 1-6) and their parents have been directly responsible for the regeneration of areas previously taken over with Acacia, and come back year after year to take care of the trees they planted and their surroundings.
Experience you would like to share: Community-led practices, educational possibilities for rewilding, participatory guarantee systems for products coming from wild areas.
Experience you would like to gain: Learn about where to lead the community in the future, including possibilities for nature-based tourism and other sources of community revenue.
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