The forest yesterday and todayThe Gâvre forest is the largest National forest in Brittany."Gavre" comes from the Celtic-Breton word "GAOR" which means goat or deer which, by mutation, became "gavr". Property of the counts of Nantes in the eleventh century, this forest became the estate of the Dukes of Brittany; then a Royal Forest by the reunion of Brittany with ‘France’ following the wedding of Anne of Brittany with Charles VIII, December 6, 1491. After the Revolution, it became public. It is worth noting that until 1830, over a third of the forest (1700 ha) was devoted to agriculture as "grazing land." residents of Gavre had common grazing rights and indeed for several centuries, the population of Gâvre lived off the forest. They were loggers, hewers, carters, clog makers, coalmen, circlers, suppliers of bark for tanneries .
The forest has adapted to the needs of society. First a refuge and place of hunting and gathering for man; it provided heating and timber, and then marine wood to build the ships in the military ports of Nantes, Brest and Lorient; it provided a source of energy for forges, glass factories and tanneries as industry developed.
Made up half of hardwoods (sessile oak, beech, service tree, cherry) and half of softwood (pine, Maritime and Corsican pine), the management of the forest today has 3 objectives to: protect this sensitive and fragile natural environment , produce quality timber and welcome the public in partnership with the County Council 44.