Pinocha: a major Tenerife resource, and fire risk

Photo: Tenerife Cabildo.

I thought the video below was interesting to share because it deals with a major aspect of Tenerife’s forest life, the pinocha. This is the carpet of pine needles which forms in the forested hills and national park, and which serves as a natural fertilizer for the island’s flora and an essential resource as bedding and nesting for its fauna. It is also, however, one of our biggest fire hazards since it burns fiercely, and although it’s a perfect fire lighter for wood burners in the hills in the cooler evenings, it also represents perhaps the greatest danger in the hottest months when fire risks are already high.

The pinocha is administered at local and insular level to ensure that its natural use is preserved but that it is also harvested so as to create firebreaks and to minimise its potential to spread fires. The Cabildo controls the work that forestry teams undertake in the national park and grants licences for a small number of traditional businesses which contract to collect it commercially for sale as livestock bedding and fertilizer, among other uses. Any member of the public is able to collect it free for personal use, but must get a permit from their local ayuntamiento to optimise areas for public collection, and collectors are told when they collect the permits how much can be gathered and from where.

I’m afraid the video only has a Spanish audio but the images should be pretty self-explanatory.