What is the herd? Sheep prepare to cross downtown Lyon

A herd of sheep will criss-cross the city of Lyon for three days, in a symbolic attempt to reconcile the urban environment with the natural world.

The project is led by La Bergerie Urbaine, an urban agriculture group that combines itinerant grazing and educational activities within the Lyon Metropolis.

The herd is made up of 24 sheep, which will travel 24 kilometers through Greater Lyon, in three days and two nights from September 29 to October 1. They will cross three municipalities, and 14 parks and gardens.

The trip is dubbed a ‘urban transhumance‘ (urban transhumance), and called ‘The Little Transhumance‘.

The word “transhumance” refers to the seasonal agricultural practice of moving livestock from one region to another, usually from highlands to lowlands in summer and winter.

Read more: Calls for French transhumance to be recognized as a UNESCO heritage site

During the three-night trip, residents can enjoy environmental and cultural activities on topics such as biodiversity, food and agriculture. These will be organized in partnership with several local associations to promote natural spaces.

There will be daytime entertainment and “aperitif” sessions in the evening, from 4:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The complete list of events and registration details are online on the La Bergerie Urbaine website here.

Up to 30 people will be able to walk alongside the herd and participate in the event, help the shepherds coordinate the herd and exchange more with them on socio-environmental issues. You can apply on the La Bergerie Urbaine website here.

The route is as follows:

  • Day 1 (10.30 a.m. to 6 p.m.): Vénissieux to Parc de Parilly
  • Day 2: (10.30 a.m. to 6 p.m.): Parc de Parilly to Parc de Gerland
  • Day 3: (10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.): Parc de Parilly in Vieux Lyon – Place des Minimes

In a press release, La Bergerie Urbaine said: “Since 2019, we have carried out more than 160 itinerant grazing outings in 29 different municipalities, covering more than 560 km in the Lyon metropolitan area.

“In addition to these events, we manage 120,000 m² of meadows on a daily basis on six sites and five municipalities in the Lyon Metropolis.

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