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ENS of Récusset

  /  ENS of Récusset
ENS of Récusset

ENS (Espace Naturel Sensible – Sensitive Natural Space) of Récusset located in the Monts du Cantal in the heart of the Cirque de Récusset, is a typical volcanic setting with exceptional biodiversity.

What is an ENS?

An ENS is a space

whose natural character is threatened and made vulnerable, currently or potentially, either because of urban pressure or the development of economic or leisure activities, or because of a particular interest with regard to the quality of the site or the characteristics of the plant or animal species found there

according to the law of 1976. It is a tool available to the County Council as part of the implementation of its environmental policy, which enables it to protect natural areas. The Cantal Departemental Council has labelled 14 sites in the department since 1992.

Cirque de Récusset
Characteristics of the ENS de Récusset

The Cirque de Récusset is made up of the Impramau and 7 Fountains cirques in the  high glacial valley of the Maronne in the commune of Saint-Paul-de-Salers. It is surmounted by the Puy Violent (1592 m) and the Roc des Ombres (1633 m).
It represents the typical volcanic scenery with its slopes resulting from lava flows from the ancient volcano of Cantal and its wide trough-shaped valley carved out by the glaciers.
The differences in altitude and exposure mean that the ENS site has two different levels: mountain and subalpine. This determines particular ecological conditions as regards the presence and distribution of fauna and flora. As a result, the ENS de Récusset has a wealth of flora (83 heritage species) and fauna (33 heritage species) on a perimeter of 920 ha. The range of vegetation is exceptional: rocky walls, large forests of fir and beech trees, lawns, moors, peat bogs…

Over the period 2019-2020 Rural Concept conducted an entomological study on the ENS in order to make an inventory.


Two themes widely present on this place known for its transhumance have been exploited through 2 interpretation trails:

  • Biodiversity due to the intrinsic characteristics of the glacial cirque and the moderate impact of human activities on the environment. The trail entitled « Sur les pentes du pré dansant » offers, through discreet furniture, support for discovering the site’s surroundings. It is composed of photographic black boxes in homage to a local figure, Father Gély, who photographed this valley in the XIXᵉ century.5 km — 1 h 40
  • The evolution of herd guarding and the life of the buronniers on this site with an agricultural vocation and theatre of a tradition of transhumance which is managed today in a cooperative. This agricultural tradition is very much alive on Récusset. « Le sentier du Petit Pâtre » is thus decorated with black silhouettes representing each phase of the evolution of guarding and the life of the buronniers. They thus pay homage to the men who made and still make the mountain.
    4,5 km — 1 h 30

An educational booklet is available for download free of charge to deepen the pastoralism and biodiversity issues addressed on these two trails.

Sur les pentes du pré dansant
Sentier du petit pâtre

A sound installation, created at the buron du roc de Labro, with a breathtaking view of the circus, tells the story of the summer pastures in the Maronne valley and the surrounding valleys, based on local memory. An enameled stoneware landscape reading table completes this outdoor feature.

In addition, the Grand Site de France Puy Mary – Volcan du Cantal has also published a booklet of testimonials, available in the Site House and from our partners, to accompany the discovery of the site. It gives a voice to local users (inhabitants, guides) who offer walks on the circus and practical ideas for enjoying the place.

Vue sur le Puy Violent depuis le buron du Roc de Labro

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Février, 2024