The northwest of the Iberian Peninsula constitutes the western borderline of the distribution area of the beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) in Europe. The Busmayor beech forest is located on the eastern slope of the Sierra de Ancares, in a very steep area, shady orientation and scarce soils. Busmayor belongs to the municipality of Barjas (León), the trend towards depopulation and abandonment of agricultural activities occurred from the 1940s, led to the invasion of large areas of crops by shrubby species. The beech forest is formed by a main stand and two small stands that are very close. The objectives followed are the improvement and persistence of the beech forest, as well as to maintain its biodiversity and prevent it from being affected by forest fires. To this end, a perimeter strip was cleared to facilitate natural regeneration, favouring the presence of pioneer species, such as Betula alba L., Sorbus aucuparia L., Ilex aquifolium L., Quercus spp., and the development of beech seedlings, that will grow in their shadow. These forestry actions are aimed at promoting the union of the small stands to the main stand, if possible, in a natural way and, if necessary, by artificial repopulation with genetic material from the beech forest itself. It is essential to involve the local population in any management plan that is carried out because without their collaboration the recovery and conservation of this or other beech forests in the area would be unfeasible. Perhaps, the provision of a protection figure for the region would contribute to its sustainable development.
Keywords: Fagus sylvatica L.|stand persistence|cultural-natural landscape|sustainable development