Ambassador profile


  Name: Philippe Della Valle
  Function: Natura 2000 Site Manager
  Country: France
  E-mail: pdellavalle(at)
  Tel: +33 55503 9825

Organisation profile


  Organisation: Conservatoire Régional des Espaces Naturels du Limousin
  E-mail: info(at)conservatoirelimousin(dot)com
  Tel: +33 55503 2907
  Established: 1990-2005
  Category: NGO
  Number of staff: 25
Site profile
  Site name: Landes et zones humides de la Haute Vézère (Haute Vézère)  
  Location: Corrèze, Limousin, FRANCE  
  Land area: 7,707 ha  
  Nearest urban settlement: Meymac, Bugeat  
  Natura 2000 ID: FR7401105  
  www: none  
  Annual visitor count: Approximately 20- 50 000  
  Majority of visitors from: Paris and other parts of Limousin  
  Site description:

The site of the “Moors and wetlands of the Haute Vézère” is the oldest Natura 2000 site in the Limousin. It was established in 1996 by the CREN Limousin on behalf of the State. It covers a surface of 7707 hectares on the Plateau de Millevaches, in Corrèze, between 800 and 930 meters altitude. This altitude and geographical position results in a relatively challenging climate (with important precipitations and particularly long winters). The site comprises of eleven habitats of Community interest distributed on nearly 2135 hectares, consisting mainly of dry moors, meadows with Nardus stricta or peat bogs which all result from human activity in Limousin. 10 priority species were also listed there: Lutra lutra, Euphydrias aurinia, Coenagrion mercuriale or the Myotis myotis (see full list below). In the past the agriculture of the area has been dominated by the extensive bovine and ovine breeding (forty stockbreeders). This land was abandoned more than twenty years ago and more than half of the open priority habitats are abandoned. Thus, since the 1950's coniferous tree planting has become more important and stimulated competition between agriculture and forested land. Due to the very long winters large quantities of hay for the stockbreeders and large surfaces of meadows are necessary. In this context, the threats still weigh on the moors and lawns (reversal in meadows, plantation of Douglas trees) and to a lesser extent on the bog landscape (drainage). The Management Plan of the site created in 1998 was reviewed and developed in 2006. It envisages in particular many contractual measurements aiming at the maintenance or the return of the extensive pasture on the open landscape of the site, the conservation of the old leafy settlements and the safeguarding of the aquatic environments (due to the development of riverbanks or the reduction of the ponds' impacts on the rivers).


All species
  Species code Latin name Common / local name
  1044 Coenagrion mercuriale Agrion de Mercure
  1065 Euphydrias aurinia aurinia  Damier de la Succise 
  1078 Euplagia quadripunctaria   Ecaille chinée  
  1083  Lucanus cervus   Lucane cerf-volant  
  1308  Barbastella barbastellus Barbastelle 
  1323  Myotis bechsteini    Murin de Bechstein
  1324  Myotis myotis   Grand Murin 
  1355  Lutra lutra Loutre d'Europe  
  1385  Bruchia vogesiaca   Bruchie des Vosges 
  1831 Luronium natans Flûteau nageant  
All habitats (* indicates priority habitats)
  Habitat code Common / local name
  3110 Eaux oligotrophes
  3260 Rivières des étages planitaire à montagnard
  4030 Landes sèches européennes
  6230* Formations à Nardus
  6410 Prairies à Molinie
  6430 Mégaphobiaies eutrophes
  7110* Tourbières hautes actives
  7120 Tourbières hautes dégradées
  7140 Tourbiéres de transition et tremblants
  7150 Dépressions sur substrats tourbeux
  9120 Hêtraies atlantiques à houx
Stakeholder profile        
  Stakeholder activity in the management planning process:
  Stakeholder group activity level
  hi ←       → nil
  Local Government        
  Central Government        
  Private landowners        
  Green NGOs        
  Private sector        
  Private individuals        
  Recreational groups        
Stakeholder success stories

Agro-environmental Aids

Since 2001, CREN Limousin has set-up agro-environmental aids with agricultural organizations, which are cofinanced until 2006 by FEOGA and French funds. Measures consist of the extensive use of heathlands and peat bogs with no fertilizers and low stock pressure during summer season. They are five year contracts. Aids varied from € 111 ha/year and € 350 ha/year.
From 2007, they are cofinanced by FEADER and French funds. They are all approximately € 261 ha/year.

CREN Limousin and a farming organization built local agro-environmental "schedules of conditions" to maintain and enhance open habitats management. Successful communication was developed with a farming organization at the local and national level.


Farmer Partnerships

Restoration of many sites with local farming partnerships: CREN Limousin now manages approximately 2000 ha of Natura 2000 sites, of which 400 ha are open habitats. This represents 14 different small sites, managed with the help of 15 different farmers.


Interpretation paths

Setting up of 2 "interpretation paths" on the largest peat bog of Limousin, which are clearly a success, with more than 15000 visitors per year.

The 2 interpretation paths consist of a small one (1 km long) with panels showing typical plants and animals of peatbogs, explaining peat origin and extraction.
The largest one is 9 km long, with small stones reporting to a visitor leaflet which contains information needed by the visitor.

Photo credit: CREN Limousin
Communication profile

Activities and products for the communication of Natura 2000


Green Day / Excursion more info


  Event frequency
A few times a year


  Use of seasonal workers / volunteers


  Communication literature produced
other: Information mailing campaign


  Communication target groups
General public
Site visitors


  The organisation has a dedicated communication strategy for Natura 2000


  Site involved in joint working / networking


Site management profile
"Effective Partnership for farmers on the Plateau de Millevaches"
  Key site management issues:


  • Restoring and maintaining extensive livestock breeding on open habitats
  • Maintaining old broadleaved woodlands
  • Preservation of rivers and ponds


  Integration of Natura 2000 in overall site management:


  • Natura 2000 is very well received by the farmers and almost 2/3 of them are involved
  • It is still a new "problem" for foresters even though the site was designated ten years ago


  Key site management objectives:


  • Engagement of local farmers in agro-environmental schemes
  • Reverse the increase of intense practices on dry habitats (e.g stop heathland transformation to artificial meadows)
  • Increase grazing on wet areas


  Stakeholders targeted as part of management action:


  • Local farmers
  • Two farming organizations (agriculture councils): Chambre d'Agriculture de la Corrèze, ADASEA de la Corrèze


  Description of work carried out / methods and methodology:


  • Development of codes of practices used to answer the needs of the local people
  • Local and national communication
  • Diagnosis to help farmers to choose the good agro-environmental measure for the good habitat.
  • Consistant and agreed single message from CREN and farming organizations to make it very "understandable" to the public


  Results of action and activities:


  • Between 2001 and 2006, 28 farmers from a total of 45 were using the site signed contracts, which contained agro-environmental measures on priority habitats (nearly 500 ha of open habitats).
  • We are working to convince the French central administration to reserve adequate funds to finance new agro-environment measures from 2007 until 2013. In Limousin, only Euro 2 million are forecasted for 7 years with requirements estimated at 4 times this.


  Indication of budget allocation for these tasks:


  • Approximately Euro 35 000 for a full-time job on the Natura 2000 site


Financial overview
  Organisational budget for nature conservation (annual):


  • Euro 1,2 Million


  Budget reserved for communication:


  • Euro 45 000


  European funding:



< back to sites page
Haute Vézère: FR