Nature and biodiversity
The Minett lambs
Lamb meat from the protected areas of the UNESCO Biosphere
The Minett lambs
In the Minette region in southern Luxembourg, open-cast mining ceased at the end of the 1970s. Since then, vast dry grasslands have developed on the rocky soils of these former mines. These dry grasslands are characterised by a remarkable biodiversity that is unparalleled in Luxembourg. That is why, between 1988 and 2019, these former mining sites have all been designated as protected areas, either at national level (nature reserve) or at European level (Natura 2000), or both.
In order to maintain these dry grasslands in a good state of conservation, management is necessary to prevent scrub and pioneer forests from becoming established. Since the early 2000s, this management has been carried out by itinerant grazing, i.e. by a herd of sheep grazing these dry grasslands under the supervision of a shepherd.
Originally a nature conservation project, this itinerant grazing has been developed and coordinated over the years by the Nature and Forestry Administration (ANF) together with an agricultural partner. Since 2017 the farm Kail and Kail from Bergem has taken over the agricultural part of the project under the name Minetter Schof.
In 2019 the PRO-SUD union submitted an application to UNESCO to have the Minetterland recognised as a Biosphere Reserve under the "Man and the Biosphere" programme. This label was awarded in 2020, with the aim of promoting biodiversity conservation and sustainable development based on citizen participation, education and research. One of the concrete objectives of the "Minett UNESCO Biosphere" is to develop and support initiatives to promote local products and sustainable food.
The Minetter Schof farmer is the only farmer producing a quality agricultural product (lamb meat) almost exclusively in the core areas (the former mining sites) of the Minett UNESCO Biosphere. The marketing of this meat will help to sustain this nature conservation project by placing it on an economic basis other than agricultural subsidies.
May - December :
The flock of sheep (ewes, lambs, rams) graze under the supervision of a shepherd in the protected areas of community interest (Natura 2000) and in the protected areas of national interest (nature reserves) of the "Minett UNESCO Biosphere" (MUB). The grazed plots, mainly dry grasslands, are mainly located in former mining sites.
December - April
The herd grazes on fenced-in grasslands in or outside the protected areas, usually in the vicinity of the agricultural settlement in Bergem. During adverse weather conditions (cold, wet, snow) the sheep are returned to the stables in Bergem.
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Exploitation agricole " Kail et Kail " 15, rue de Schifflange L-3316 Bergem Administration de la nature et des forêts (ANF) Arrondissement Sud 40, rue de la Gare L-3377 Leudelange Minett UNESCO Biosphere (MUB) - PRO-SUD 6, Ellergronn L-4114 Esch-sur-Alzette
One of the objectives of the Minett Unesco Biosphere (MUB) is to develop and support concrete initiatives in the promotion of local products and sustainable food. This label was awarded in 2020, with the aim of promoting biodiversity conservation and sustainable development based on citizen participation, education and research. One of the concrete objectives of the "Minett UNESCO Biosphere" is to develop and accompany initiatives in the promotion of local products and sustainable food. In the context of this project, the MUB is helping to create a visual identity for the product and to find commercial partners to promote this quality meat.
Originally a nature conservation project, itinerant grazing was developed and coordinated over the years by the Nature and Forestry Administration (ANF) together with an agricultural partner. Since 2017, the farm Kail et Kail in Bergem has taken over the agricultural part of the project under the name Minetter Schof.
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