The redwood forest of Cantabria is in danger from hugs

Cabezón de la Sal is a picturesque town in Cantabria, Spain, distinguished by its exuberant natural environment. Of particular note is the sequoia forest that thrives in the Monte Cabezón Natural Monument. However, hugging could be harming the trees.

redwood forest

Hugging could harm the health of the redwood forest

In an area of ​​2.5 hectares, these sequoias were planted in the 1940s. They were brought from the United States and are recognized as the largest trees in the world. There are 848 specimens with an average height of 36 meters that attract tourism.

However, visitors developed a peculiar obsession: hugging these imposing trees. This behavior led the City Council to consider precautionary measures. Such as the possible prohibition of this gesture, to preserve the natural environment.

A phenomenon that began during the pandemic

Images of people hugging the trunks of these majestic redwoods have become frequent on social media, especially on Instagram. The comments are that this practice can work as an effective anti-stress measure. This phenomenon began during the pandemic and gradually became widespread, which is detrimental to the health of these trees.

Some visitors claim to have photographed themselves in front of a redwood tree with their arms outstretched, simulating a hug, but without touching the tree. They consider it to be the same as visiting a museum, where the paintings are not touched, a cave with prehistoric relics, or the altars of a church, where they avoid touching anything. Likewise, admirers of the redwood forest consulted would be willing to pay a small entrance fee to preserve and maintain this natural space.

They will take measures to protect the forest

Local authorities indicate that the trees are weakened due to the practice of hugging them by visitors. This behavior causes damage to the bark of the trees and their health in general.

Hug a tree

They were even able to observe that some people tear off pieces of bark as souvenirs, which negatively affects the well-being of the specimens. This degradation phenomenon is also manifested in the exposure of roots due to erosion caused by human activity, which includes constant trampling.

To preserve the health of the trees, it is necessary to raise awareness among visitors about the harmful effects of these actions. The municipality is considering limiting the presence of people around the trees by installing walkways to prevent damage to the roots and regulate access.

Likewise, they discuss other measures, such as the implementation of a ticket system to finance both daytime and nighttime surveillance. Or the possibility of implementing guided tours with prior reservation for more effective control. The objective of any measure adopted is not to obtain an economic benefit, but to protect the park.

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