Sheep have settled down on the ski pistes of the biggest ski resort in Slovakia. Visitors can witness the return of the shepherding tradition and traditional mountain sheep – Wallachian sheep personally in the area of Priehyba on the northern side of Mt Chopok.
The preparations of the project focused on the return of the shepherding tradition to alpine meadows below the summit of Mt Chopok started already last year in summer. Peter Kompiš, who has years of experience with breeding Wallachian sheep, was one of the project initiators. “At the end of the 19th century there were 3 million of sheep in our territory and 2 million of them were Wallachian sheep. Today, we have probably 700 pieces of Wallachian sheep in Slovakia and in the region of Liptov, this is the third flock. Wallachian sheep literally designed these mountain meadows from the architectural point of view. It is the best breed for this kind of conditions, it can adapt to difficult terrain very well. As these are young sheep, one year old, they won’t be milked yet. We would like to milk them next year. After all, these sheep used to offer a triple benefit – milk, wool and meat,” explained Peter Kompiš.
People who visit the resort can meet the sheep until the end of the summer. “A flock of sheep will be gazing accessible pistes from today (9.7.) to September, which means we don’t have to cut the grass mechanically and the pistes will get the best natural care possible. And to offer as many authentic experiences to our visitors as possible, they will be given special certificates from our staff and will get a chance to meet the dog guardians of the flock and taste original sheep products in the area of Priehyba,” informed Jiří Trumpeš, the general manager of the Jasná mountain resort.
Nothing was left to chance as for the protection of the sheep’s home against wild animals. “The flock is always protected by an electric fence, it stays inside a solid mobile barn which is also protected by a strong fence. We hope that this will help us avoid attacks of predators. In addition to a shepherd and electric fences, there will be also four-legged furry guards to look after the sheep. We have chosen the Pyrenean Mountain Dog breed. Our decision was influenced by the location where we are, we wanted a breed which is not aggressive to people. These dogs live together with the flock and can deal with the situation in the case of an unexpected visit,” concluded Peter Kompiš.
In cooperation with the “Tatry máme radi” (We like the Tatras) civic organisation, a project focused on collecting returnable plastic bottles to special collection boxes located in the water parks of Bešeňová and Tatralandia has been launched as well. In this way, water park guests can not only help with recycling, but the money collected thanks to such plastic bottles will be used to support the project of the return of traditional Wallachian sheep to alpine meadows in Jasná.