Preventive silvicultural practices and recovering destroyed areas.
Within the scope of silviculture, the forestry management actions in effect at the TMN – the National Hunting Grounds of Mafra essentially involve tending the plantings of eucalyptus, stone pine and maritime pine.
Ever since the TNM has been managed as a cooperative, the area given over to eucalyptus has declined in keeping with efforts to eradicate this species that due to its dispersion and reduced scale did not attain economic viability.
Currently, there are five eucalyptus plots, large in size, managed with the objective of maximising production through to the end of their respective life-cycles.
The stone pine yields its nuts whilst wood is extracted from older maritime pine trees when displaying signs of ageing.
Another source of income has come from the firewood arising out of clearing operations and the removal of fallen trees.
In order to maintain the indigenous species, these are targeted by regular pruning as well as trimming and thinning out.
In the future, the National Mafra Hunting Grounds are to integrate into the ZIF Mafra Este (the Mafra West Forestry Intervention Zone) and thus in support of the sustainable management of a forested area spanning around 2,600 ha, with the TNM one of the founding members of the Zone.
RECOVERING BURNED AREAS
Following the fire in September 2003, some of the areas of brush and forest were destroyed, especially areas of heather, stone and maritime pines and eucalyptus.
With these areas attributed priority in terms of reforestation, the species chosen for planting were all deciduous given such are less prone to forest fire.
After surveying the extent of the damage and monitoring the response made by each of the different affected species and across different zones, progress was made with drafting a charter of capacity for supporting forestry flora, which provided the foundations for the choice of both areas and the species planted.
In October/November 2003, we advanced with the collection of around fifteen thousand cork oak seeds along with five hundred Portuguese oaks for growing in seedbeds before their planting out in the following autumn.