We investigated the regeneration of a threatened tree, the yew Taxus baccata, in relation to the presence of fleshy-fruited woody plants acting as seed dispersal foci as well as protecting yew recruits against ungulate herbivores. We seek to determine if local facilitative effects are consistent across landscape in the Cantabrian range (NW Spain). Yew seed rain by birds mostly concentrated under yew trees and beneath hollies Ilex aquifolium. Seedling emergence distributed similarly to seed rain, but first-year seedling survival was higher beneath hollies. In one site where woody vegetation was structured as nucleation centres (multispecific patches of fleshy-fruited plants acting as foci for seed rain) yew recruits mostly occurred in yew-dominated centres, suggesting dispersers-mediated facilitation. However, holly was the main nurse plant for most of these recruits, considering the nurse as the species whose canopy covered directly the yew recruit. Living beneath nurse plants reduced herbivore damage on saplings and enhanced seedling survival. A planting experiment with yew rooted-cuttings beneath different spiny shrubs corroborated this effect. Additional evidence on yew recruitment limitation by herbivory emerged from one population where ungulates were fence-excluded. Our results suggest that nurse plants mitigate the negative effect of herbivores on yew regeneration, by providing defence against browsing and trampling. Shelter ability related to nurse structure, cone-shaped shrubs with branches at their bases acting better as a barrier. Paradoxically, this structure resulted from heavy browsing on nurse plants. The study of yew regeneration and habitat structure in seven sites provided evidence for the consistency of facilitation by holly at the landscape level, since local values of yew recruitment positively related to nurse ground cover. Range-scale yew management must consider the local functioning of the interaction among avian seed-dispersers, nurse fleshy-fruited plants and ungulate herbivores, in combination with regional measures, targeting the habitats where facilitation emerges.