Environmental and neighbourhood solidarity
Subsistence agriculture has been linked to communal lands, which are subject to environmental protection, sharing and mutual support between neighbours, all transmitted orally. As from a varying date, these rules were written down in the council books of many villages in Spain. Their persistence over the years was the most efficient weapon to face poverty and maintain a sustainable environmental management, transmitted from generation to generation.
Antonio Martínez (1925-2017), born in La Maluenga (León), described how as children they were told about the need to mark boundaries, using stones to mark out the communal fields and forests of each village: “[…] In April, on the day due, the president and other members of the council would take all the young’uns around the limits of the communal lands of the village so that we memorised how many boundary stones there were and where each one was and how to make sure they were firmly in place.”