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The Heid des Gattes

Nature reserve

The nature reserve of Heid des Gattes is a magnificent reserve of about sixty hectares. It belongs to the municipality of Aywaille and is administered by the ASBL "Ardenne and Gaume". A preserved subvertical rock face dominates the right bank of the Amblève between Remouchamps and Aywaille. It is its exceptional flora, including the famous Aywaille houseleek, which is internationally renowned for this beautiful cliff. Very rare plants but especially new plant associations grow on a limestone cement sandstone finely stratified facing south.


In addition to its exceptional flora, the reserve is also home to a diverse fauna including a herd of goats who participate in the management of the reserve. Emblems of the reserve and the origin of the name of it ("gatte" being the translation of the word goat in the Walloon dialect / the nickname "Gad'lis" (= goat keeper) given to the inhabitants of Sougne- Remouchamps), the goats graze the ligneous thus maintaining the open environment and favoring the maintenance of the lawn. They are also an important vector of seeds carrying them in their coat or under their hooves. They therefore participate in the seeding of quarries and life zones by the seeds of rare plants thermophilic site specific. The influence of the herd on the reserve is therefore complex and certainly of considerable importance.


The reserve includes the neighboring quarries of Goiveux and Falize as well as an area of ​​neighboring forests and groves. Most interesting plant associations have colonized quarries. A great diversity of amphibians breeds in ponds at the foot of the wall. Many reptiles, including the wall lizard and the smooth coronella, frequent the scree. A large number of thermophilic insects, sometimes uncommon, swarm in lawns and heat on rocky outcrops. More spectacular, the peregrine falcon and Grand Duke of Europe reign on the site.


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