Words of the actorsSébastien, coast guard
©dav|Sébastien Massy, Syndicat du lac
Island of Vassivière

Naturalness and landscape, a rare ecosystem to preserve

Lake Syndicate

The Millevaches plateau, considered the “water tower of France “, is a huge reserve of natural spaces. It benefits from specific protection, under among others Natura 2000 sites, of community interest and is home to rare species and habitats.

©Puy Du Rocher - Lac de Vassivière

Thus, around the lake stretch 7600 hectares of hilly natural areas, which alternate between bogs, ponds, moors and forests. Green, blue, gray, but also flamboyant shades of ochre, red and orange mark each season with very different atmospheres.

Here, in Vassivière, we pay special attention to nature in order to rediscover the original landscapes and open up the panoramas.
We all have stories of shepherdesses and ewes in our imagination, which remind us of our childhood!”
Here, the eco-grazing is a reality. Thus, in these beautiful colorful spaces, you may come across, at the bend of a path, a shepherdess guarding her sheep with her dog*.
The ewes have been reintroduced, as in the past, and graze the moor.
In season, share her experience by following her during her transhumance around the lake and during the “Shepherds“.

Another identity ecosystem of our territory: the peat bog.
It is a rare asset, which must be preserved to avoid the colonization of trees and shrubs that would lead to its extinction. The restoration of this environment so fragile, requires very special precautions, a method of gentle work, not mechanical.
So, here, it is horses that skid, also as in the past, in order to expand the habitats necessary for the reproduction of protected species and to create panoramas on these little known environments.

The long-term objective of these various works orchestrated by the Syndicat du lac and the Conservatoire du littoral, in consultation with other local actors (ONF, PNR de Millevaches and CEN Nouvelle-Aquitaine) is to bring light to these beautiful colored spaces with Canadian atmospheres through the creation of paths and landscape openings, with respect for the environments and for the happiness of all.

The right reflexes when faced with a herding dog >>>>>>

Three questions to ...

Sébastien Massy,

Coast guard - Lake Vassivière

What do your missions consist of?
We have a general management role for the site. We also work in collaboration with the Office National des Forêts for everything related to the annual wood cuts. The objective is to develop the vantage points and open environments and maintain a natural and wild aspect to the site. As for tourism, we are fortunate to have a public that is very sensitive and attentive to the environmental quality of the site. I am even surprised by the increasingly cautious attitude of tourists. As proof, we have removed the trash cans near the picnic areas and it is a success because people take their waste with them.What types of developments should be made to the site?
At Lake Vassivière, we are in a public space. Everything must be done to enhance the site and promote the discovery of the surrounding landscapes. Access to the lake is complicated, which is also what makes its charm and ensures the tranquility of the place. Here, there are few events and during some big events related to sports activities on the spot, such as triathlon, paddle or swimrun races which welcome about a hundred participants, it is enough to regulate them well. The important thing is to maintain quiet spaces.What projects do you have for the site in the short term? We want to develop jobs related to pastoralism in the Limousin mountains. To do this, we are working together with the Millevaches Regional Nature Park to identify fallow land and give young farmers the opportunity to set up to develop sheep farming on the site. We already have a management plan for the 200 hectares or so of surrounding pastureland. We have hired a shepherdess to ensure the transhumance of the sheep around the lake. The opportunity to offer tourists pastoral hikes in the middle mountains of two to three hours enhanced by animations on the work on the farm.Source: excerpt from the travel magazine article “Great reports