Calcareous grasslands

A landscape readily associated with the Calestienne and Viroin Valley, the calcareous grasslands feature flowers and short grasses on steep slopes with poor but calcium carbonate-rich soils and fully exposed to the sun.

These particular conditions have led to the development of exceptional biodiversity, with many rare and sub-Mediterranean species. The open environments owe their existence and survival to the extensive manmade pasturage, which once covered much larger areas. The grasslands, which are grazed by sheep and goats, were maintained by transhumance for centuries. The flock, formed by all the village's livestock, was entrusted to a shared shepherd, known as a herder, who was responsible for taking them to graze on the grassy slopes of the community's tiennes (limestone hills). With these agro-pastoral practices now abandoned, management measures are aiming to conserve the calcareous grasslands' considerable biodiversity.

As well as their environmental importance, the calcareous grasslands represent a history and a heritage that must be protected and promoted.


In practice

Pelouses calcaires

5670 Vierves-sur-Viroin

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