Saturday, May 02, 2009

Pastures old, pastures new

This week, hundreds of sheep were driven over back roads from Rocamadour (North East of Cahors) to Luzech (to the West). The officially sponsored drive is known as transhumance, or move to summer pastures. Following a large wild fire in 1998, it was decided to use sheep to clean up overgrown land: the target is to reclaim 10,000 acres. Over a hundred landowners have signed up to have areas of brush converted to better use.

The flock was a colourful and surprisingly noisy bunch, the thunder of tiny hooves being accented by the bells hung from the sheep's necks. Once rain had given way to sun, the procession was joined by horses and carriages, as well as dozens of the hikers that walk the roads in this area.