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On To Pastures New

Cevennes farmland

In Cevennes the tradition of driving animals between summer and winter pasture has been around for hundred of years and is still active today. The aim is to get the herd to higher ground in order for them to gain a bite from the slower growing, late seeding mountain grass.

After the spring crop in the valleys has been eaten, domestic animals are taken up for about two months in high summer and then taken back down again for the winter. The movement of livestock from lowland to highland and back again was generally done collectively by the men only and was a somewhat a celebratory affair with drinking and dancing and decorating the sheep with brightly coloured pom poms for ease of identification