The Landes de Gascogne forest

in the vicinity

The Eurosol campsite is located in the Landes forest which is spread over three departments: the Landes, the Gironde and the Lot-et-Garonne. With nearly one million hectares of forest, it is the largest cultivated forest in Europe and its history is equally impressive.

History of the Landes forest

At the origin of this pharaonic project, two issues specific to the territory. Before the 19th century, the Landes had to cope with a constant advance of sand of several dozen metres per year over the land. Added to this were difficulties in evacuating rainwater on the flat sandy soil, which led to the development of mosquitoes and numerous diseases such as malaria.

To counteract these effects, the first companies began to operate in the 18th century. Following his own observations, the road and bridge engineer Chambrelent had the idea of planting maritime pine seeds on a marshy plot of land. The success was not long in coming and the number of hectares cleared increased over time. In view of the results obtained, Napoleon III later decided to pass a law to sow the area. It was then necessary to wait several decades before the dunes were fixed by oyat and the swamps cleaned up by the forest.

A strong economic impact

This new forest had beneficial effects on the local economy. Firstly, thanks to gemmaging, which consists of recovering resin from the pines. This work made it possible to help waterproof ships and maintain the ropes. Subsequently, the resin will be used as turpentine for the manufacture of various products such as paint or varnish.

In the 20th century, the resin was abandoned in favour of wood, which was used to make posts in French and English mines.
In the 1920s, a new economy was born, with the birth of the Papeteries de Gascogne created in Mimizan. Their success was such that they are still today leaders in the kraft paper market.