Do you have questions about livestock grazing? Would you like to know more about the measures that are put in place to protect the herds, and to find out about their grazing areas so that you can carry out your activities in complete safety?
Here you will find information on how to ensure that modern mountain activities can coexist peacefully with the ancestral practice of pastoralism.
Pastoralism is an ancestral practice that has always been present on the lands surrounding Valberg. Nowadays, this agricultural activity goes hand in hand with modern outdoor activities. It is common to come across horses, cows and sheep during your excursions in the mountains during the summer season, in particular flocks of sheep, which have the peculiarity of being guarded by dogs called "Patous". These dogs are very close to their flock and their intrinsic role is to protect them.
It is therefore important to adapt your behaviour in their vicinity so that pastoral and outdoor activities can continue to flourish together, in mutual respect and harmony.
7 things to do
Around the herds,
1 - Reduce your pace
If you are running, slow to a walking pace. If you are cycling, get off of your bike and walk slowly.
2 - Stay together (if you are a group)
Form a protective circle with any children in the middle.
3 - Calmly attract attention
In order not to surprise the herd, speak loudly in a calm tone, let the dog/s come and identify you, and keep your own dog on a leash (never carry them in your arms).
4 - Keep an eye on the Pyrenean Mountain dog/s (known as "patous" in French)
Avoiding visual and physical contact, remain attentive to the dog/s by continuing to talk to them while adopting signs of appeasement (yawning, looking disinterested,...). If necessary, allow your dog off leash so that it moves away from the Mountain dog/s and can come back to you later.
5 - Keep your distance with an object
It can be useful to place a personal object between yourself and the dog/s (your bike, your bag, your cap, etc.), in order to maintain and respect the space between you.
6 - Wait for the dog/s to calm down
To be reassured, the dog/s need time to identify you. Their role is to come towards you while barking. Don't be caught off guard and continue to talk to them while remaining calm.
7 - Go around the herd gently
As far as is possible, minimise the impact of your presence by disturbing the animals as little as you can and calmly continuing your walk in peace.
Hiking without herds
All summer season :
- Sentier planétaire
- Croix du Sapet
- Tour du Chastellan
- Le sentier des Pionniers
- Lac de Beuil
- Tour des lacs (sauf cime de Raton)
- Les Atres
- Le bois de Tailler
- Hameau de l'Illion (sauf transhumance)
- Tour du Garnier
- Sentier du Patrimoine (Péone)
From mid-July :
- Plateau St Jean
From August :
- Hameau de la Colle
- Crête de Charnaye
Map of the Summer grazing areas
Click on the blue areas for more information.
To improve cohabitation
While hiking, you came across a herd of sheep or goats with guard dogs. As you approached, you felt threatened or you may even have been bitten. In order to help us ensure better cohabitation between mountain users, please fill in this incident report form and send it to us.
Download the form (document in French)
The pastoral mediator
In the summer of 2019 the Syndicat Intercommunal de Valberg decided to hire a pastoral mediator to improve cohabitation between mountain users.
To this end, several measures have been put in place for outdoor activities, professionals in the tourism sector and pastoralists.
In case of an incident, or to obtain more information on the location of the herds, which behaviours to adopt, or more generally for information on pastoralism, you can contact our pastoral mediator :
By phone : +33(0)6 71 69 57 34
By e-mail : e-mail