A hike through Alpine pastures to Brandenberg’s forest pasture
This form of forest pasture is a speciality of the Brandenberg region of Tyrol. Due to the area’s low elevation, Alpine pastures overlap extensively with stands of forest well below the treeline. Age-old rights of use guarantee that even today grazing animals are found on land belonging to the Austrian Federal Forests. Originally, it was only woodland grazing that made it possible for families to survive in areas of marginal yield, but throughout history, large landowners also repeatedly used the act of granting grazing rights in their forests – a duty that was incumbent upon them – to populate remote and poorly developed regions.
Over centuries, these practices led to the creation of a unique mosaic of tree stands and grasslands with a rich diversity of plant species, which would not exist the forest floor was not grazed. Even the trees themselves are not left standing or felled according to purely profit-based forestry criteria. They play an important role in the microclimate and often reach a greater age than those in ungrazed commercial woodland, which means that they provide a valuable habitat for many bird and insect species.
The forest pasture system offers good grazing conditions for livestock while also creating a biodiverse and attractive cultivated landscape in every season!
Financed by the European Union, the Regional Development Fund and Interreg V-A Italy-Austria 2014-2020.
The hike passes over Alpine pastures with unattended grazing animals. Please follow the behavioural guidelines as signposted locally!