French village warns tourists to expect 'rural noises'

"Enter at your own risk"

Fed-up with tourists complaining about rural noise, the mayor of one picturesque village in the south of France has this year decided to take direct action.

Now, anyone visiting picturesque Saint-André-de-Valborgne, in the Gard, cannot say they have not been warned, after mayor Régis Bourelly installed clear notices warning that tourists are entering a 'French village'.

"Enter at your own risk," says the notice, before warning tourists to expect church bells to ring regularly, cockerels to crow, and that farm animals live close by, and farmers are wont to drive agricultural vehicles along the roads in the area.

A sign at the entrance to Saint-André-de-Valborgne

The mayor's no-nonsense approach to heading off tourists' complaints has gone viral on the internet. But it is not the first time that officials in rural France have had to deal with complaints from visitors.

Earlier this year, the mayor of another French village called for the sounds of the countryside to be listed as part of the country's 'national heritage'.

In November 2017, a farmer in the Haute-Loire faced prosecution after he refused to comply with an order to remove the bells from his herd of cows. A month later, a Dordogne couple were told to empty their pond after neighbours complained about the noise made by frogs.

Elsewhere, villagers voted in a local referendum to keep early morning church bells ringing following a complaint from one resident.

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