Green Spain

Green Spain

Green Spain (direct translation into English of the Spanish "España Verde") is the name given to the Spanish northern maritime façade exposed to the Atlantic Ocean in Galicia, also extending along the coastal strip running north of the Cantabrian and Basque mountains, along the Bay of Biscay from Galicia in the west through the French border in the east; this land strip includes Asturias, Cantabria, and the northern half of the Basque Country.

It is called "green" because it has a wet and moderate oceanic climate, strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean winds that get trapped by the mountains. Because of the Foehn effect the southern slopes get inside the rain shadow and the Green Spain contrasts with its dry central plateau.

The average precipitation is about 1,200 mm, much higher than areas located in inland parts of northern Europe which are thought by the average population to be wetter than anywhere in Spain, which is generally regarded as a rather dry country. This rainfall figure allows a lush vegetation to grow, the main native tree species of this biome being beeches and oaks. During the second half of the 20th century in some areas (specially in Galicia) the native forests were replaced by plantations of eucalyptus and Monterey Pines for its commercial exploitation in the paper industry.

The Pyrenees, which sometimes are considered to be in the same system as the Cantabrian Mountains, used to be included in Green Spain, even though here the rainfall has different patterns and the general landscape is actually more alpine.

ee also

*The Eurosiberian region of the Iberian Peninsula
*Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests biome.

Image gallery

Picos de Europa.

Traditional_Hórreo in Asturias.

Basque_coast.Image:Playa_de_Berria.jpg|Coast_of_Cantabria.Image:Galiciacoast.jpg|Coast_of_Galicia.Image:Ordesa.jpg|Ordesa, Pyrenees.


External links

* [ Green Spain] Green Spain's official site.
* [ Visit Asturias] A guide to Spain's Natural Paradise in English.

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