top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

Shepherds protect Dordogne farmland

Unused farming land in the Dordogne has been given a new lease of life in a project which uses public money to support young farmers and put sheep on to land that would otherwise revert to woodland.

Emeline Vadrot and Steeven Ponnama, both shepherds from the Drôme in the Rhône-Alpes, wanted to set up their own farm but had been stopped by cost.

They have been able to benefit from a scheme run by the Dordogne Department and a group of communes at Domme which bought unused farmland and built a barn at Campagnacles-Quercy leaving the two young farmers to buy their livestock and pay a rent.

The couple now have 200 sheep, half for meat and half for milk which they make into cheese.

Emeline said it meant they could fulfil their dream of running their own farm: “It’s a very positive initiative which helps us and helps the countryside at the same time as sheep are good at clearing neglected land.”

The Centres Régionaux de la Propriété Forestière, a body for forest owners, said woodland had now taken over 70% of land in some Dordogne communes, with former farms overgrown.

In addition, 118 farms could close as owners near retirement.

Backed by €222,000 of public funds, the scheme helps bring sheep farming back to the area, clears land and encourages new agricultural activity.

Dordogne president Germinal Peiro said he hoped 'this was just a start' as this kind of scheme could be used for other farms, commerce and artisans.

Other areas in the southwest have shown an interest.

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now