The Landes forest (La forêt des Landes in French) or the Landes of Gascony, in the historic Gascony region of southwestern France now known as Aquitaine, is the largest maritime pine forest in Europe.
Most of the region now occupied by the Landes forest was swampy land that was sparsely inhabited until the 19th century. In this period, the people of the Landes used stilt-walking to move from place to place in the wet terrain. The forest was planted to rehabilitate the landscape and provide for regional economic development. Since the 1970s, parts of the forest have given way to intensive agriculture (in particular, grain farming.)
The forest is now mostly in private hands, and is cultivated on an industrial basis to provide building materials and paper. Resin production, one of its subsidiary industries, is no longer done on an industrial basis.
The forest forms 90% of the area of the natural regional park of the Landes of Gascony.
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