Examples of current actions
Opening up of the landscape and fight against erosion
In order to fight erosion and counter the installation of undergrowth on the summit areas of the puys, as well as to reduce pressure on the central part of the Chaîne des Puys, several volcanic sites have been subjected to integrated preservation and enhancement measures.
- Puy de Combegrasse
This edifice, which has 360° views over the southern part of the Chaîne des Puys, the dammed lake of Aydat and the Sancy Massif, was grazed until the 1970s. Since this stopped, it has been slowly repopulated by Scot’s pines. The combination of the Chaîne des Puys-Limagne fault management plan together with the need for land by local sheep farmers created the opportunity to enhance the landscape and educational qualities of the by the forestry management association of Aydat (SMGF). Many projects have been carry out between 2014 and 2015: felling and chipping of the Scot’s pines, creation of a footpath network, convention for a grazing plan, placement of signs…
- Puy de Vichatel
The Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Park has undertaken a project to open up this puy with the aim of enhancing the edifice, testing new agricultural and forestry management practices as well as reducing visitor pressure on the central sector. Two stages of work were planned for 2014 – 2015: the drawing up of a management plan with the National Forestry Office, clearance of the crater and opening up of conical views from the summit, creation of a path to discover the volcano’s features, and the setting up of eco-counters.
- Puys de Jumes et Coquille
These twin cones in the north of the Chaîne des Puys provide an excellent view over the volcanic alignment and merited improvements, together with measures to fight erosion. This led to a joint project between the Auvergne Natural Spaces Conservatory (CENA) and the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Park, carried out in 2015: open up the Puy de Jumes’s crater, restoring the path up, , trellised vegetation to channel walkers along a path, manage water run-off, etc.
Management of visitor numbers : setting up eco-counters and hubs for group reservations
The central part of the Chaîne des Puys has the highest amount of visitor numbers in terms of hikers. To reduce the pressure on this sensitive zone and to evaluate the visitor numbers at sites open to hikers, sixteen eco-counters have been set up at the main sites in the Chaîne des Puys. The data recorded will help measure the impact of the various projects already undertaken and guide future projects. A second wave of eco-counters will be set up in 2016 along other paths which are well-frequented by the general public.
At the same time, the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Park is working with the academic inspectors and education authorities to disseminate school groups better, by working with teachers, awareness-raising, and the setting up of an online reservation site.
Improvements to transport and car parks
One of the objectives of the management plan with respect to transport within the Chaîne des Puys is to reduce road traffic and the impact of car parks by developing public transport and by landscaping the parking areas.
Since 2013 a number of works have been carried out: the elimination of unsuitable car parking along the road at the Col des Goules and improvements to its actual car park, more frequent shuttle buses departing from Clermont-Ferrand, the creation of a route for bicycle touring, etc.