The Conifer woods

The conifer woods of the Alta Murgia are mainly plantations created to address the dramatic loss natural forestation over the preceding centuries, due to forest fires, the creation of pasture for tranhumance and the transformation of the land for agricultural purposes. For these reasons, over 4,700 hectares of new coniferous plantations have been established, using mainly Aleppo pine. A further 1,200 hectares are made up of a mixture of coniferous and broad-leafed trees. The first great plantations were created in the area of Cassano and Altamura following the great flooding at the beginning of the last century. The purpose of this replanting is also to prevent surface water erosion and other damage to the landscape. Thanks to their protective canopies and the increased humidity that the trees impart to the soil, many other species of flora and fauna find a suitable environment in which to propagate. The tree species include: holme oak, turkey oak, palestine oak, ash and bushes such as hawthorn, blackthorn and wild pear. Examples of animals that find shelter in the plantations may include: foxes, weasels, owls, the mistle thrush, the sparrowhawk and the migratory black-headed goldfinch and brambling.

Rimboschimento in località La Ferrata, agro di Ruvo di Puglia (Foto di Gianfranco Marinelli)