Millevaches Nature Reserve

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Forest Life lays within the Millevache Regional Nature Reserve


This natural reserve is situated in the heart of the Limousin (now called Nouvelle Aquitane) region, extending over the départements of the Corrèze, Creuse and Haute-Vienne and covering an area of more than 3,300km². The park is home to 38,000 inhabitants living in 113 communes, 63 of which are in the Corrèze. Of the seven different landscapes making up this large plateau, the valleys of the Haute Corrèze around Meymac and Mont Bessou (the highest point of the Limousin at 977m), the mountain springs around Millevachesthe Gorges du Chavanon to the east, and the Monédières hills to the southwest are in the Corrèze section of the park.


Water is the most abundant natural feature on the Plateau de Millevaches, also known as the plateau of “a thousand springs”, along with heathland, wetlands and ancient broad-leaved forests. Here the peat bogs, springs and rivers of the Loire and Dordogne basins are home to many unusual species, such as the Round-leaf Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), the Freshwater White-clawed Crayfish, (Austro-potamobius pallipes) and Bog Rosemary (Andromedia polifolia). Also found in the clear waters of the plateau is the otter, whose image is the emblem of the area.


The skill and expertise of the old inhabitants of the plateau can be seen in the many monumental crosses gracing the byways and crossroads, in the medieval bridges, wells, fountains, bread-ovens and barns, as well as the Gallo-Roman ruins that are found in the area. Perfect for hiking and outdoor activities, the Plateau de Millevaches is criss-crossed with numerous footpaths, cycle routes and mountain-biking trails, which can equally be explored accompanied by a pack-donkey or on horseback.


 

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