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Restoration of wood-pastures in Transylvania

Wood-pastures are valuable landscapes both ecologically and culturally.

These are mosaic habitats with park-like trees supporting a number of animal, plant and fungi species.

Grazing animals are fundamental in these habitats - they prevent the mass regeneration of trees to ensure a reduced competition for light.

Most of the wood pastures were formed in the Middle Ages and we can find secular trees with monumental dimensions that are up to 900 years old (like the Old of Carpathians at the pasture near Mercheașa).

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Oak (Quercus petraea) and beech (Fagus sylvatica) trees on a wood pasture near Hodoșa in the Niraj Valley

The trees have been maintained on these pastures for centuries for their shade, for their fruits but also for their aesthetic value. Their ecological value lies in their mosaic character: they provide habitat both for species characteristic of forests, but also for those which prefer the open areas of grasslands.

 

Many such landscapes can still be found in Transylvania, but they are vulnerable, the number of secular trees has diminished in each year.

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Oak (Quercus robur) on a wood pasture near Rupea / Reps in 2014
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Oak (Quercus robur) on a wood pasture near Mercheașa in 2015

In 2020, 2021, with the Pando Association, we planted 800 sessile oak (Quercus petraea and beech (Fagus sylvatica) seedlings in the Niraj Valley on the Hodoșa plateau.

On a map dated between 1769-1773, a wood pasture can be clearly identified here.

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The Hodos-plateau in the Niraj Valley at the end of the 18th century
Planting on the Hodosa plateau in October 2020 with the Pando Association

In the planting seasons, spring 2022 / autumn 2022 we will plant sessile oak seedlings (Quercus petraea) as part of the wood pasture creation project of the Conservation Carpathia Foundation on an area near Cobor village (Brașov County).

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