Tuesday, 1 March 2011


Leiria Pine Forests belongs to a large National Forest which was created to form a sea wind protective barrier, a long time ago.
Thus, beyond the wooded area where the predominant pine is Pinus pinaster, we have a long coastline where several marine plants, such as beach’s Murganheira and sea thistle, can be found. Regarding the animal kingdom only insects and small reptiles. In the area of the first row of dunes we can also observe migratory birds that find there rest and shelter or their nesting site (such as the little Sea-Swallow).

When we move into the pine forest, the soil is more stable and the salinity is lower, which means there is the enriching of both flora and fauna.
Beyond the Pinus pinaster that prevails due to intensive planting along the years, there are some clusters of Pinus pinea. In the surroundings of Moel’s brook (watercourse that crosses the forest from east to west and flows into the Atlantic Ocean) it is possible to find acacia (Acacia horrida), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), poplars (Populus) alders (Alnus glutinosa), oaks (Quercus rubra) and willows (Salix babylonica). Some of these trees, such as the Eucalyptus globulus and the serpent pine trees, are considered of National Interest due to their size and configuration.
Beyond the trees we can find different types of undergrowth vegetation – white and pink heather, shrub ferns, lentisk, furze, broom and crowberry.
Rabbits and hares mostly compose the forests’ fauna, but we can also find otters, hedgehogs, foxes, badgers, etc. Regarding to birds we have crows, jays, leaf warbler, blackbirds, doves, pigeons, thrushes and partridges.

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