Green lanes

France is a country covered in managed woodlands, and the third most forested country in Europe after Sweden and Finland. Ancient green lanes crisscross them, some well-used, others less so, tempting you to explore further.

Although much is privately owned, in the main by individuals in small family plots, large areas are public property and highly accessible. Forêts domaniales, belong to the state, and were created under the 1566 Edict of Moulins, while forêts communales are attached to towns and villages.

Not only do they provide a ready source of timber and firewood, the french forests provide a rich habitat for wildlife, soak up carbon dioxide and breath oxygen into the atmosphere. They are also a great amenity – as places to walk, picnic, gather mushrooms, hunt, bird watch – and, being in the public domain, open to all.