The region of Extremadura is about the same size as Switzerland and is made up of two large, sparsely-populated provinces – Cáceres and Badajoz. Passing through Extremadura you may well encounter areas containing splendid oak trees. They appear at first glance to be a natural landscape with majestic trees scattered over rolling hills, but in fact they are carefully cultivated and managed. This is the dehesa of Extremadura.
“Dehesa” is the name given to these expansive areas of farmland consisting of groves of low density, mature oak trees. The spaces between the trees are used to cultivate cereals and as pasture for grazing livestock.
Around 50% of the land of Extremadura, a region to the west of Spain bordering with Portugal, is taken up by these dehesas. This system of farming is unique to Iberia although similar in landscape to the savannahs of Africa.Continue reading The dehesa of Extremadura