Shepherds' Day ...
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This festival, which takes place at the end of November in Istres, is an opportunity to see many Provencal folk groups, as well as magnificent teams. To end this parade, a real river of sheep accompanied by the shepherds of the Crau and their dogs, crosses the city.
The steppe of La Crau has been crossed by sheep since Antiquity, as evidenced by the many remains of Roman sheepfolds. It remains today the main terroir of sheep breeding transhumant of Basse Provence.
The plain of Crau delta fossil of the Durance, located on the eastern bank of the Rhone, facing the Camargue, today presents a contrasting landscape of wooded areas of meadows and semi-arid pastures, the coussouls.
This plain, where grass of incomparable quality grows, has long been frequented by shepherds. Crau's hay obtained its AOC and PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) in 1997. It is the first animal feed to obtain such a quality label.
For millennia this delta left by the Durance has been shaped by the herds to create a unique environment in the world, sheltering an exceptional and diversified fauna. Do we know enough that the quality of their landscapes is due primarily to the pastoral activity which, for centuries, has shaped them.