Pinares de Doñana

Natural areas

More than three hundred natural sites and nature reserves

Los Castañares (The Chestnut Groves)

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Located in the Sierra Norte Natural Park, the chestnut grove in Constantina is of great interest, as the chestnut is not a very common tree in the Sierra Norte. In addition to those found in Constantina, there are some spots in Cazalla de la Sierra and the odd isolated specimen in other places.

This tree requires mild temperatures and high moisture, so in the municipality of Constantina it grows in the north, at an altitude of 600 to 800 m, in the shady areas of the mountainous terrain.

Although the chestnut tree was introduced into the Iberian Peninsula by the Romans, it did not reach the Sierra Norte of Seville until the time of the Reconquest. It is distributed in small stands of about 1 hectare, in some cases mixed with cork oak, Portuguese oak, Pyrenean oak and shrubby vegetation. In the areas where the undergrowth is well developed, interesting fauna can be found, with species such as the mongoose, Montpellier snake, European grass snake and ocellated lizard.

The chestnut tree is part of the forestry activity of the Natural Park, and its treatment is different depending on whether it is used to obtain fruit or rods. Those used to obtain rods to shake olive trees are small specimens and form the so-called chestnut clumps of up to 4 m in diameter that produce rods around them. These are collected in five-year rotations and treated in a traditional way. In the old days, chestnut wood was also used for beams and other building elements, and for barrel-making. 

Access is free. You can visit the area of Los Castañares by the marked path of the same name, a 7 km circular route, which starts from the Erillas road, at the end of Calle del Venero located in the town centre.

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