The Fragas do Xarío and its new path of the windmills
The characteristics of the Galician forests and its Fragas.
If there is any colour linked to Galicia, it is green. Forests are one of the great attractions of our land and one of its most valuable natural and cultural components.
Galicia's native forests include several types of them, all belonging to the so-called European Atlantic deciduous forests, and some of the best-valued ones can be found in Galicia.
The native Galician forest par excellence is Atlantic, so, depending on the altitude and substrate, the predominant species are usually oak, chestnut, holly, laurel, hawthorn or cork oak.
One of the characteristics of the fraga or native Galician forest, is that man has not intervened in its formation. They are isolated and difficult areas to access , where the leafy canopy of the trees prevents light from reaching the ground. In this way, they manage to maintain a constant temperature and humidity, allowing the settlement of a rich diversity of plant and animal species.
The rivers play a major role in the formation of the forests, establishing a network of shady streams and irrigation channels with humid banks. The mists, fogs and abundant rainfall do the rest, cause the emergence of a varied collection of mosses, ferns and lichens which constitute one of the great treasures of this type of forest.
The Fraga do Xarío
This green space of 58,000 square metres is part of the rich landscape of the municipality of Miño, being the largest space of its characteristics in the whole municipality.
Meandered by the river Xarío, which names it, it is located between the Costa Miño urbanización (housing development) and the Playa Grande beach.
At its beginning, an information panel shows us the different oval routes with their connecting paths that we can choose when walking around the area.
Here we have a leafy riverside forest, with its characteristic laurels, birches, ashes, willows and alders, as well as some larger trees such as oaks, chestnuts and beeches. The main species of trees are signposted and signposted to distinguish them.
The alders and ashes form shady and cool spaces, which are used by holly and other shrubs. Its numerous damp and shady nooks and crannies are ideal for amphibians such as newts, frogs and salamanders.
Among the vertebrates, if we are careful, we can observe squirrels, foxes, the occasional skittish roe deer and even the elusive genets if we are sufficiently stealthy. It is not unusual to see the irregularities in the terrain made by wild boars.
The lush vegetation is very attractive for the varied range of birds that live here: a variety of tits (blue and black), warblers…
One of the most fascinating attributes of the birds is their song. An open-air chorus of baritones, tenors and basses, which vary in intensity according to the reproductive cycle: courtship, mating, incubation and breeding.
We recommend a pause on one of the benches where you can listen carefully to differentiate the trills of each one and let yourself be evoked by the moment.
In autumn we are surprised by the magical beauty of the mushrooms, such as the highly prized Boletus edulis, which can be seen among the leaf-covered paths. The shape, colour, beauty and gastronomic qualities of some mushrooms rival the danger of poisoning, or even death, that others can cause. Such is the fascinating world of mycology.
One of the contributors to the magical aspect of this environment is the oak moss (Evernia prunastri). It grows on the trunks and branches of the oak tree (quercus robus). Native to Europe and North America, the lichen is collected in Europe, particularly in Macedonia and Bulgaria. It is highly valued in perfume making for its complex, earthy and salty notes, which evoke the scent of the forest.
Among the heritage of the forge are the remains of the old Casa Grande de Os de Ginés. A property that had two mills on the ground floor and a house on the first floor, as well as other buildings that served a construction dating from the 17th century, according to the Plan Xeral de Miño.
The Fraga do Xarío has recently been connected by means of a path with the English Way to Santiago. This linear path runs along the course of the Xarío River, running parallel to the grounds of the Golf Course, increasing the enjoyment of this environment of great ecological value.
This new section can be started on the north side of the Fraga or, at the second Costa Miño roundabout, if you are coming from the Camino de Santiago.
Along the path, we can find the ivy-covered stone structure of four old water mills, which enrich the ethnographic heritage of the municipality.
We recommend you to visit this interesting and zigzagging route of the Fraga do Xarío and its path of the mills throughout the year. The fraga is a living entity and the chromatic, sonorous and olfactory sensations that this small green area transmits are very different during the four seasons.