Landscapes of transhumance in Norway and Spain: Farmers' practices, perceptions, and value orientations
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionNorsk Geografisk Tidsskrift. 2014, 68 (4), 248-258. 10.1080/00291951.2014.927395
The mountain areas of Europe have been of vital importance in the system of summer farming whereby the movement of livestock between different altitudinal levels is a key element. However, summer farming has been downscaled considerably during the 20th century. The article describes two areas where summer farming is still practised: Forollhogna in Norway, and Asturias in Spain. The authors document the transhumance system in the two areas, and investigate how farmers view the summer farming system and landscape, how they relate to nature protection, and whether specific value orientations can be detected in their views. The findings show that the logic behind summer farming is the same in both areas: economic motivation and access to grazing grounds. With regard to nature and landscape protection, the opinion that wild nature is given priority and that ‘managed nature’ of transhumance is overlooked was found in both areas, although it was expressed more strongly in Asturias than in Forollhogna. Opinions and ideals related to ‘good farming’ were found in both contexts, and were reflected in well-kept fields and productive and healthy livestock.