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The cliffs

The Causses du Quercy Regional Natural Park is a vast limestone plateau gashed by valleys with steep sides. The valley sides are very different  according to whether they are north or south facing.

These wide valleys are bordered by cliffs. At their feet lie scree slopes formed by erosion of the stone.

What is found on the cliffs ?

 They harbour a "chasmophytic" flora (typical of cliffs). This vegetation is able to take root in the fissures of the roc walls.

The plants which are characteristic of this habitat are adapted to extremes of climatic conditions (water in short supply, very great variations in temperature according to the seasons).

Often rich in ferns, this flora varies in particular according to the amount of light received and the humidity of the atmosphere.

These rocky valley sides also shelter two protected bird species ; the Eagle Owl and the Peregrine Falcon.

And on the scree slopes ?

 The vegetation is different here, it generally provides a light ground-cover and is characterised by very specific species. It consists mainly of perennial plants (they survive for several years, even standing up to the winter.) These scree slopes also shelter rare insects like the Portuguese Dappled White butterfly or the Slender Blue-Winged Grasshopper.

Walking ideas :

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