A forest unique in France


Being a significant part of the composition of the Grand Site, it is classified just like the Dune.



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  • Pin bouteille
  • Gemmeur
  • Cabane de résinier

The user-forest is still protected by prefectural bye-laws, the oldest of which dates back to 1468. This has helped to preserve the exceptional heritage value of the "Grande Montagne" and its ecological, biological, cultural and historical importance to this day.
 
The local economy has been punctuated by pine resin harvesting for over 2000 years. This activity was an important source of income in Pays de Buch until the mid-twentieth century before declining in the 1960s. Currently, resin is harvested on an experimental basis.

 

This activity has left its mark on some tapped pines. Because of their unique shape they are called "bottle-shaped pines" and are easily recognisable by the healing strips around their circumference. Not all tapped pines turn into "bottles"; the finest examples are those "tapped to death" which haven't been "slaughtered".

Resin workers were only occupied for part of the year with tapping and making distilled resin products, such as turpentine, torches, candles etc. The rest of the time they kept the forest and prepared it for the next tapping year.
 
The small wooden houses once resin workers' huts, which are scattered throughout the communal forest, are the true witnesses of this activity. They are examples of an identity and heritage which deserve to be protected and restored.