Transhumance Festival Brings The Flocks To Madrid

The historic quarter of Madrid saw some old friends make their rare visit to the capital  marking the annual Transhumance Festival.

The festival, which in its modern format goes back to 1994, but which in fact is a celebration of historic livestock drove routes that stretch back to the 16th century.

The seasonal routes originally allowed for the drivers and shepherds to be afforded protection on legally recognised routes that brought livestock along a seasonal grazing route and eventually to market.

Today, Sunday 23rd October, saw the 28th Transhumance Festival return to the streets of Madrid. The flock departed from Casa de Campo and up to the Calle Mayor (via Cuesta de la Vega), Puerta del Sol and Plaza de la Cibeles and then back along the same route.

Many of the flocks had come from Extremedura, Castilla y Leon as well as even as far as Andalucia.

Thousands of Madrileños and curious visitors flocked ( no pun intended) to see the thousands of sheep clogging up the capital’s main streets.

This event was initiated in 1994 to press the Spanish Parliament to pass a Herders Roads Law, recognising historic shepherd´s routes as public property as well as a  unique heritage for the country.

It was organised by the Trashumancce and Nature Association with the support of the Concejo de la Mesta Association, MAVA Foundation, Madrid City Council and the World Wildlife Fund.


In recent years the concept of pastorlism has gained traction amongst environmentalists as well as livestock producers as a s sustainable food systen as well as a way to adapt to climate change.


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