A dune surrounded by a green sea


It is called 'user-forest' because the inhabitants of the ancient Buch jurisdiction are allowed to collect wood for heating, building their homes, cabins and traditional boats such as the "Pinasse". Since the middle Ages it has been protected and private which has given it a special status, making it a unique forest in France.



A dune surrounded by a green sea
La Teste de Buch user-forest is an integral part of the Grand Site.
 
To the east of the dune stretches an ocean of greenery which is the Landes de Gascogne forest. This is the largest European forest massif which covers more than a million hectares in the Gironde region, the Landes and the Lot et Garonne. This forest appears to be homogeneous but is in fact made up of several areas diverse in age, settlement and statute.

La forêt usagère

Within the massif, the user-forest's natural origin is one of its attributes. The "Grande Montagne" covers over 3800 hectares equivalent to 5000 football pitches, giving it an interesting outline.
This forest has preserved its wild nature and rich biodiversity.  The strange-shaped pines bear witness to the ancient custom of tapping which involves cutting a notch in the trunk in order to harvest the resin. The tree produces resin in order to heal the cut. This resin was then used in the manufacture of paints, perfumes and soaps, etc.
 

A dune surrounded by a green sea


A dune surrounded by a green sea