EFI : European Forest Institute
Le réseau pour la gestion durable des forêts cultivées.

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FORSEE : Indicateur évalué

Indicator 6.10 : Accessibility for recreation
Forest area covered (2005): 29274,16 ha

Percentage of the total forest area in Sousa Valley: 100 %


TOTAL COST: 266,2 €

The total cost includes:

1-Data collection

131,2 €

2-Data analysis

135 €


Recreational sites within forest and other wooded land where public has a right of access for recreational purposes


Sources: Land use map: COS 90

Recreational sites: GTF’s (Technical Forest Offices) of the municipalities of Sousa Valley


Recreational sites in Sousa Valley include parks, pedestrian paths, shooting fields, camping, forest roads (used for 4x4 races), belvederes and interesting landscape. The main types of recreational places identified are parks (parks to have lunch or to take an afternoon snack). The frequency varies between hardly ever and frequently. Most of the places are classified as frequently and occasionally visited. Some of the recreational sites are parks associated with churches or small chapels. These places held, at least once per year, the religious feast attended by several Christians who take advantage of the parks too have lunch and to rest. These places are visited occasionally, that is, at least once per year, when the religious ceremonies take over.

It is important to point that the recreational places which are not connected with chapels and religious ceremonies are mainly visited during the summer. Then, when the places are classified as frequently visited, one refers mostly their intensity of use during the summer.

Shortcomings and improvements

Data concerning the spatial locations of the places were taken from the foresters working at the forest technical offices of the 6 municipalities of Sousa Valley, mostly of them in charge of drawing the municipal plans for prevention against forest fires.

Data concerning the frequency of use of the recreational places by the population were based on the opinion of the foresters and other technicians working in the municipalities as well as the opinion of the foresters working at the local FOA. Since it was not carried out a questionnaire to achieve the real frequency of use, the real use can not be much reliable because it depends on the opinion of the referred foresters.

The indicator could be improved if there were the possibility of carrying out a questionnaire to the visitors of each place identified.

Comments and conclusion

This indicator is not of easy assessment since the municipalities do not always have the recreational places inventoried. However, after asking to the foresters (or other type of technicians working at the town councils) to identify the recreational places and to provide the GPS coordinates or the information about the location of the places, it is possible to create a database with this information and to monitor the condition of the places periodically. The foresters working at the municipalities and the foresters working at the local FOA can be contacted in order to classify the frequency of the places based on their knowledge but it is preferable to undertake a questionnaire over the visitors. If more recreational places are created in the forest areas they should be identified by the foresters of the forest technical offices (GTF’s in Portuguese initials) of the town councils and added to the list of places already inventoried.

In terms of SFM, it is important to keep these areas were people can access for recreational purposes and to managed them in order to avoid their damage or disappearing. Nowadays, more people are aware of the importance of forests for the provision of services like recreation, landscape and biodiversity conservation. Because of that, society is becoming more willing to share the costs of maintenance of the recreational sites with the forest owners.

Indicator not considered by the Criterion 6 of Portuguese Norm 4406 2003.

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