04.07. - 17.07.2021
Description: The regional natural park “Pfyn-Finges“ lies between Gampel and Sierre in a mountain valley called “Valais”. As the regional instrument for sustainable development, the natural park “Pfyn-Finges” is committed to a wide range of projects: The park aspires to develop the region to be fit for our grandchildren through impulses and measures that serve to upgrade and maintain our unique natural and cultural values. Agriculture has a major influence on the landscape and the biodiversity. For this reason the natural park “Pfyn-Finges“ coordinates volunteer work. At “Illalp” there is lots of work to accomplish each year. The meadows and trails need to be maintained and mobile fences to be set up. Furthermore the water supply for men and cattle needs to be ensured.
Type of Work: It is a cultural heritage in Switzerland, that farmers and their livestock’s move to a higher altitude during the summer months each year. They move according to the snow melt and vegetation phenology (grass growing). Due to this practice, the cattle will always find good food, produce better milk and get away from the heat in the valley during summer. During these two weeks, we will maintain traditional stone walls, removing fast growing shrubs and trees, cleaning the meadows of sticks and stones and putting up mobile fences might also be part of this workcamp. Please be aware that this kind of work in the Alps is very exhausting. Be sure to be in good health condition. If you are not sure what this means, please contact SCI Switzerland.
Study Theme: In earlier times, each family had some cows, goats or sheep to send to these meadows high up at the mountains. In recent time only a few farmers remained in Switzerland, which try to keep up this great tradition. Not only the cattle loves their nearly “free alp-time”, also lots of other species benefit from it. We will go more in depth explaining and understanding the magnificent relationships in nature during the workcamp. History about the local alp cooperative and the tradition of moving the cows from the valleys to the local alp, an introduction to the wildlife and typical vegetation.
Accommodation: Mattresses are provided, but please bring your own bed sheets and a warm sleeping bag. Be aware that at night it can get chilly as it is high up in the mountains. A toilet and warm shower are provided - warm water is limited. Volunteers will cook together. All volunteers will sleep in the same room – separate rooms for male and female participants are not provided. The walls of the house are not sound proof.
Language: English, German & Swiss German
Requirements: Please do not book your travel before we confirm having the minimum number of 5 volunteers subscribed.
Approximate Location: Illalp is situated at one of the most beautiful places in Valais on an altitude of 2360m in view of numerous 3000er peaks. There is not only a great variety of different wildlife – like chamois or bearded vulture – but also breath-taking hiking trails.
Notes: Leisure activities: We will explore together the magnificent nature and cultural highlights of the Nature park perimeter. This could include Mountain peaks (heights depending on participants and the snow situation) or hiking along the lakeside, the famous “Pfyn”-Forest and the wild Rhone-plain. Other days you might just want to relax and enjoy the quietness on the mountain site.