Typical local landscape has always consisted in dry farming, fragments of isolated forest, streams, torrents, orchards, roads, farmhouses, cottages and roads. In this maremagnum of elements, agriculture has been predominating until the middle of the twentieth century, using all possible areas to remain profitable, and leaving small pieces of forest in the least suitable areas (areas with steep slopes, rocky areas…), or stands to extract wood and firewood.
In the mid-twentieth century, many inhabitants were looking for better wages and living conditions, and left to live in surrounding cities, either to work in the industrial sector or to seek for new employment opportunities. Many agricultural areas, especially the smallest ones, have been abandoned due to this exodus phenomenon; many of them were vineyards, which led to the proliferation of forest, with the harmful actual consequences of deforestation and intense wildfires we know.
Today, olive growing is a major part of the foothills culture. In recent years, a number of olive farms, which had been abandoned in the mid-twentieth century, have been restored, although this phenomenon has no impact on the emergence of “bruquetà” oil on the market so far.
Nevertheless around 1890, vineyard exploitation and wine production used to be the major activity until the arrival of phylloxera. Beyond toponymy, with names evocating he past such as Vinya Nova, you may find only tiny vineyard plots located next to the olive trees nowadays.
At present, forest is predominating in steep areas (more difficult to cultivate), between crops and around populated areas.
Bushes of rosemary and thyme with “bufalaga” and friar’s crown arising from forest fires predominate in a large part of El Bruc landscape, as they are characteristic of lowland calcareous places. The scrub or scrubland corresponds largely to the areas where the 1986 wildfire broke out, next to Can Salses and El Castell properties, and which are still in regeneration process.
Between pine groves, cultivated fields and scrub from the foothills to the highest points of the mountain of Montserrat, where the slope permits it, you can find holm oaks.