La Rhune is a national heritage site. There is rich and diversified fauna and flora.
These environments, species and vestiges are fragile. Please respect them, so that future generations may also be happy to discover them.
Pottok, the emblematic pony of La Rhune
In the Basque Country, the word “pottok” (pronounced “potiok”) means “small horse”.
The pottok is a breed of rural ponies that live mainly in the western part of the Basque Country.
Today, we find two types:
The mountain pottok lives for at least nine months in the mountain area, at the cradle of its breed. It is generally highly rural and requires little care. It is small in size, as it does not exceed a height of 1.32m.
What is known as the prairie or sport pottok lives in contact with men. Its more favourable living conditions in the mountains have led to its bigger size and more muscular build due to its food and its use.
The “Trois Fontaines” plateau is a damp environment with particularly acidic water. It is the ideal biotope for sphagnum, archaic mosses with outstanding absorption properties, whose lower, dead parts, do not decay, thus making up a thick spongy layer.
In this plant community made up by the Trois Fontaines peat bog, lives a marvellous little carnivorous plant, the Rossolis (Drosera Rotundifiola), meaning “the sun’s dew”.
The Drosera grows in reddish tufts on spongy carpets of sphagnums, or peat mosses of only a few centimetres, often forming colonies with their fine subterranean stems.
Their round leaves are densely covered with red glandular hairs that secrete sticky, clear drops that shine in the sun. Peat bogs are moist, fresh and highly acidic environments, which are therefore lacking in nutritional elements. The Drosera compensates for this deficiency by being carnivorous.
Be careful not to degrade the peat bog, as it is a relict environment.
When a peat bog is destroyed, this is irreparable. It is strictly prohibited to pick Drosera.