The new modular shepherd cabin can fit two persons, Source: Generalitat de Catalunya

Catalan shepherds get energy efficient with new cabin

Catalan shepherds get energy efficient with new cabin

The transportable solar-powered module was provided by the regional government

The Catalan Department of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda announced that it has installed a new bioclimatic and self-sufficient cabin to house the shepherds working in some of the high valleys of the Pyrenees. More specifically, the hut is supposed to provide shelter to the people tending to the livestock herds in the so-called Zone of Permanent Presence of the Brown Bear.

Protection from bears and from the natural elements

The new cabin, with a capacity for two people, has dimensions of 9.72 square meters and is located on foundations built with local stone. It is a construction adapted to the climatology of high mountains; hence its design is described as bioclimatic.

The cabin is made of three modules and thus can be disassembled and easily transported to other places, if necessary. It has a kitchen and lights powered by solar panels. The works have been executed through Forestal Catalana public enterprise. The construction of the cabin, including its transport to the mountain, had a cost of around 54,000 euros.

The Department of Climate Action has three more bioclimatic cabins (one is being repaired after suffering damage during the winter and will be reinstalled next year), and other constructions and caravans to house the shepherds who carry out surveillance of the herds.

The livestock prevention program has as its main strategy the grouping of different local and private herds in a single herd during the months that the sheep are in the mountains. The aim is to concentrate infrastructure and surveillance efforts to be able to protect the animals 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

The shepherds, hired by the Department, are responsible for leading the herd during the day. Their task is to carry out grazing, monitor the health status of the animals and apply preventive measures to minimize possible bear attacks, such as closing the herd at night in electrified pens, with the presence of flock protection dogs.

Currently, there are four groups of sheep. In total, around 3,500 animals from a dozen different owners are being kept.



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