Life in the mountains

Every year, a visitors, mountain climbers and hikers witness a marvellous spectacle when farmers and livestock move up to the alpine pastures on or around St. George’s Day on 24th April. The cattle remain on the high pastures for the summer until the come down again on St. Martin’s Day on 11th November.

The seasonal movement of livestock between the winter and summer pastures (“transhumance”) is an important aspect of traditional cattle husbandry, and attracts thousands of spectators every year who come to admire and celebrate the special event and our magnificent cattle.

Our free-ranging livestock enliven the landscape throughout the summer months and nature lovers enjoy many spontaneous encounters without fences on their hikes.

For us farmers, livestock farming on the mountain pastures is hard and lonely work. As a farmer and a local, I still respect the traditional rules and customs, simply because they have always been our way of life.

Livestock breeding not only earns our living, it is also a commitment to the flora and fauna. And a respect for the raw materials and resources from the natural environment is second-nature to us! Nothing is carelessly thrown away in the mountains… and certainly not when it comes from a living creature.

I am pleased there’s still no equivalent substitute for beautifully tanned leather from the hides of our animals, and that the most ardent nature lovers in particular appreciate the original, vibrant quality of the material.