Butterfly Cottage – The Valley
Butterfly Cottage lies in the hamlet of Gary at the end of a winding single track tarmac road 3.5km from the D118 Limoux to Chalabre road turning right just before St. Benoit to St Couat du Razes. There is no through traffic and is therefore extremely safe for children. The hamlet comprises six houses, two of which are holiday homes in private ownership.
The valley is natural with pastures and woodland to either side of a pretty stream. There are wild flowers from March starting with wood anemones followed by anchusa, pulmonaria, violets, wild strawberries, several varieties of orchid and many others which we from the UK consider to be garden plants! The woodland is for the most part broad leaved trees – oak, beech, ash, sweet chestnut and cherry.
The woodland is now part of a Forestry Plan with the French Department of Agriculture. The plan is based on ecological principles, using selective thinning to improve quality timber and provide varied habitat for the local wildlife. We have thriving communities of sanglier, red squirrel, pine martens, deer, fox and wildcats & apparently we now also have wolves! The hugely varied wild flowers attract and support a multitude of butterflies in season and a thriving bird population which includes visiting nightingales each year, bee-eaters & other exotic species.
There are many places to walk in the valley and we have a direct footpath to the National French Footpath network at the head of the valley. So in theory you could walk from our door to anywhere in France at all! The local one – the GR7 was actually a path used by the French Resistance in the area & eventually connects with the Spanish border. We have a variety of local walking maps available to loan to our visitors who may wish to do some serious walking whilst they are here.