Shepherd with flock in the meadow with French alps in background


Transhumance: A remaining relict of the nomadic life.

Shepherd guiding sheep through fence with Franch alps in background
Pyrenean mountain dog standing on fence and looking in the distance.
Merino d'Arles sheep in grassland posing in the sun.
Shepherd with flock walking down a path.

Etched in the cultural fabric

The significance of transhumance and pastoralism is etched in the cultural fabric of the Arles region, as is evident from the vibrant festivities and cultural events that celebrate the traditional migration of sheep from the Alps to the lowlands for the winter. Even the traditional stone buildings that dot the landscape, such as the bergères or stone sheepfolds, are a testament to the long history of transhumance in the region.

But cultural heritage is just one part of the story, equally important is the use of open pastures and sustainable grazing practices. This helps to preserve the natural environment and biodiversity of the region preventing soil erosion, reducing the risk of wildfires, and maintaining a healthy balance of flora and fauna ensuring that these magnificent landscapes will be around for generations to come.

Circle de Qualitè

One of the economic challenges that endangered this identity was the decline in wool prices due the emergence of synthetic fibres and the rise of China's textile industry. As a concequence the wool was no longer given the attention it deserved. The neglection of preparation, shearing and collection further deteriorated the wool quality and set in motion a viscous cycle that caused a further decrease in wool prices for the local breeders.

In order to break this negative cycle, a group of quality breeders was formed that still takes pride and has a vested interest in producing top-quality wool. Only sheep that have a close genetic match to the purebred Merino d´Arles are selected into the program. This group is known as the "Circle de Qualitè" and has established strict rules and standards regarding the animal welfare, clip preparation, shearing and packing processes.

Autumn Trees on a hillside
Autumn Trees on a hillside

The Chronicals

Our journal with the aim to inspire and educate with stories of achievement, progress and adventure - captivating tales of people, places, and possibilities.