The three Grands Sites in Causses et Cévennes
The policy of the Great Sites of France is part of the protection framework for Natural Monuments and Sites established by the Laws of 1906 and 1930.
Its main aim is to offer quality hospitality to visitors at very popular listed natural sites.
There are several tools available to the Great Sites:
The Great Site Operation (Opération Grand Site), a State-run scheme for local authorities that meets three aims:
To restore and actively protect the landscape, natural and cultural quality of the site
To improve the quality of the visitor experience (hospitality, parking, circuits, information, activities) while respecting the site
To promote local socio-economic development while respecting the inhabitants.
The Great Site of France (Grand Site de France) label: this is the “reward” for a Great Site Operation as it marks the completion of a phase in the site’s restoration.
Two Great Site Operations thus take place within the Causses and Cévennes territory:
– Navacelles Cirque and the Vis Gorges: a site listed in 1941 then extended by decree on 8 December 1983, it is managed by a public-private partnership in charge of implementing a Great Site Operation approved by the Ministry of Ecology on 23 February 2012. It consists of Navacelles Cirque and its surroundings including the Vis Gorges and the three neighbouring Causses: southern Larzac, the Causse de Blandas and the Causse de Campestre et Luc. Its surface area measures 46,163 ha and around 250,000 visitors a year come to discover its gigantic cirque.
For more information: www.cirquenavacelles.com
– The Tarn, Jonte and Causses Gorges: a site listed by decree on 29 March 2002, it is managed by an Intercommunal Association in charge of the Great Site Operation. The site covers 20,000 hectares and encompasses the Tarn and Jonte Gorges for around 70 km, along with the edges of the limestone plateaus of the Causses Méjean, Noir and Sauveterre.
For more information: www.gorges-tarn.com
along with a site carrying the Great Site of France label:
– Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert – Hérault Gorges: a site listed by decrees on 25 September 1992 and 22 February 2001, which earned the Great Site of France label in June 2010. It is managed by a Community of Communes in charge of the Great Site Operation and the management plan. The site developed around Gellone Abbey, a work of early Languedocian Romanesque art built in 804, and the Pont du Diable (Devil’s Bridge) on the Way of St James. It now extends into the Hérault Gorges and the Gellone Valley and encompasses 28 municipalities.
For more information: www.saintguilhem-valleeherault.fr