Sheep and concrete? For 3 days in Lyon, that'll be a reality, Source: La Bergerie urbaine

For 3 days, sheep will take over Lyon

For 3 days, sheep will take over Lyon

The urban transhumance event aims to make the pastoral practices of the countryside familiar to the city denizens

Do you know what transhumance is? It is the ancient practice of the seasonal movement of livestock between summer and winter pastures. As with any new word, it will feel more tangible if you can actually experience it rather than just read about it. From 29 September to 1 October, the French city of Lyon gives you the chance to do exactly that with its “La Petite Transhumance” (Small Transhumance) event.

During those three days a flock of 30 sheep, led by shepherds, will cover 24 kilometres in the Greater Lyon metropolitan area and anyone curious can register, join in the walk and get in touch with practices that have been practised by humanity for millennia.

Grazing counts as environmental work, too

The sheep will walk 6 to 8 kilometres per day supervised by the shepherds, without walking directly on the road of the cars. “In this way, we create warm atmospheres that are extremely conducive to environmental awareness,” argue La Bergerie urbaine, the organization behind the event. 

According to the organizers, urban transhumance provides several benefits to the city all at once. Apart from blurring the boundaries between countryside and city, it actually puts the focus on nature and urban agriculture, since grazing the sheep on the city’s green surfaces provides organic maintenance.

It also serves an educational purpose for adults and kids alike, as participants can converse with the shepherds and ask them all kinds of sheep-related questions. What’s more, there will be picnics at lunch break, and in the evenings, there will be more snacks, lectures and debates on subjects related to urban agriculture.

Even if you don’t speak French, you can still consult itinerary maps for the three days at the organizer’s website.



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