A small band of intrepid ramblers gathered early on 27th June in the forest of Pirou for the final walk before the summer break. The walk commenced in the heart of the forest and followed a circuit along forest tracks, passing secluded houses, and visiting a ruined windmill. The forest of Pirou consists of a population of maritime pine trees (Pinus pinaster) with long thick needles and clustered cones, native to the coasts of the Mediterranean and Iberia and a varied moorland environment.
The pine forest is quite dense in places, alternated with cleared areas. In recent years the forest has suffered from fires in the hot summers but it is remarkable how quickly the forest has regenerated. Careful forest management through the use of firewalls and clearings has helped to protect high-value plant and animal species within the forest. The floristic heritage interest focuses on the most open areas where dense populations are rare and / or protected at the national and regional level.
As we headed back to our start point for lunch the day was warming up and on arrival at the picnic area we were glad of the shade provided by the pine trees. The Lunch was a sumptuous affair with everyone sharing their delights. The walk was enjoyed by all and it was a fitting end to the walking group’s season.
Words and photos: Tim Wellstead