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In early Spring 2017 I went to Le Perche in Normandy with the aim of exploring the national forest and hopefully recording the woodpeckers that are known to inhabit the area at this time of year. It was my first time to this beautiful part of Normandy and I really enjoyed exploring the region with my family. I’d heard of a goat farm located in the tiny picturesque village of La Madeleine-Bouvet, which was only about half an hour from our Air BnB cabin. It’s a working farm but the farmers are happy to show you around the farm and demonstrate how they make their delicious goats cheese. A perfect activity for my daughter, so we headed over one afternoon.

La Ferme de l’Aritoire is a rustic farmhouse set in the heart of the Regional Park of Le Perche. Specialising in goats cheese, Annie et Christian (les chevriers) look after fifty chamois alpine goats. On arrival we were greeted by one of their children who was keen to show us around. And we quickly learned that just ten minutes before we arrived one of the goats had given birth to a pair of kids. It was amazing to see these young goats just having been born and how the mother was instinctively protecting them. After observing them for some time, I set up my portable kit, hit record and headed off to visit the rest of the farm.

We of course parted with some amazing goats cheese that we would later enjoy back on the terrace of our countryside cabin. And my daughter really loved visiting the farm and seeing (and hearing) the alpine goats. Before heading off we went for a walk through the village of La Madeleine-Bouvet and we ventured further still into the gorgeous woodland that surrounds the village. Along the way I stopped to record the peaceful sounds of birdsong and a small trickling stream.

This part of France really is beautiful. It’s very quiet, with wonderful natural habitats close by and some amazing local people.