Manual and mechanical clearing for habitat restoration 4030


GRANATHA - GRowing AviaN in Apennine's Tuscany HeathlAnds

LIFE15 NAT/IT/000837

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Manual and mechanised clearings, practices that can be implemented to restore heathland habitats.

Miozzo Marcello



Restoration of habitat type 4030 (European dry heaths), that is currently disappearing in the Pratomagno area (Tuscany) because of the abandonment of traditional heathland management practices.

Regeneration of heaths which have not been cut for a long time, in order to obtain plants suitable for the production of brooms.

Good Practice Description

The good practice provides for different types of clearing operations, defined on the basis of accessibility conditions and the productive or naturalistic vocation of the heathlands. The interventions aim to recreate the typical structure of habitat 4030, which is suitable for those bird species protected under the European Nature Directives that are the target of the Life Project Granatha (Sylvia undata, Lullula arborea, Lanius collurio, Circus pygargus, Anthus campestris, Caprimulgus aeuropeus, Circaetus gallicus, Pernis apivorus).

The main types of intervention are 4: mechanized clear cut, mechanized patch cut, manual clear cut, manual patch cut.

Territorial Context

The Pratomagno mountain range (Tuscany Apennine), area where the heaths, very common here, were regularly managed for the production of handicrafts, among which the ‘granate’, a type of artisanal brooms used for sweeping the streets of villages and towns. 

Replicability conditions

The good practice can be replicated in all those areas where there is a need to restore habitat 4030, considering, during the design phase, to carefully plan some technical solutions. For example, in the case of large heath plants that have lost elasticity, it is useful to intervene manually and not mechanically to avoid digging out the stump.

To ensure that the habitat is maintained over time, it is desirable that a local production chain linked to the use of heats for the creation of handicrafts can be launched.

Dissemination material

In the final part of the LIFE GoProFor database, it is possible to download some material related to the project. Moreover the costs, the labor needs and the pros and cons of the various types of interventions are accurately described.