The Forêt de la Matte (La Matta) is a vast forest of Scots pines.
From time immemorial it has been of concern to the Kings of Aragorn, of Majorca, and later of France.
It was wood from the Scots pines in the Forêt de la Matte that was used for the masts of the fleet of Louis XIV, and as building and roofing timber to construct the Mont-Louis Fortress. Recently and particularly over the past few years the Forêt de la Matte has been extensively damaged due to falling snow and violent winds, such windstorm Klaus in 2009.
Time of the forest
The forest plays a key role in the diversity of species and ecosystems and is central to our region. The village celebrates its forests and forestry. Come and attend the talks, guided visits, and other events, all conducted by specialists.
The ski resort of Les Angles has implemented an environmental strategy that has obtained ISO 14OO1 certification. This is a very exacting protocol to ensure that all our amenities, material handling, equipment, and production meet a very high standard of quality and safety whilst at the same time taking the environment into account.
The efforts made by the ski resort were duly rewarded when it gained ISO 14001 certification in April 2007. Fewer than ten ski resorts in France had certification at that time.
Some of the most important examples of what we are doing here:
- The famous local wood grouse is being protected thanks to an anti-collision system installed on the chair lift cables.
- All of our services use organic products (oils, grease, etc.).
- Measures to prevent soil and water pollution.
- Businesses recycle all material, and there is a recycling service for all the resort’s clients.
- One day is set aside every year to collect any litter left on the slopes.
- There is a fleet of 8 free 45-place shuttle buses which call at the slopes and all the neighbourhoods in the village resort so as to reduce car use.
- A picnic room has been built on the ski area that is wholly self-sufficient in its energy needs, being heated by a heat pump driven by two fireplaces.
- The resort has set up a car-sharing scheme on its website so as to minimise the number of vehicles coming to and from the resort.
The town has also implemented a highly innovative and committed environmental policy:
- Strict limits on urban development so as to protect the countryside and agricultural areas.
- Finite management of water resources, with the town’s water stocks and supply and snow cannons being closely monitored.
- Any planned development (buildings, footpaths, ski lifts, and so on) has first to identify any “natural risk zones”, and highly sophisticated geographical information systems are used to help reach the best decision.
- The town now manages its forests sustainably and produces its own wood pellets to deliver energy self-sufficiency for public buildings (garages and so on).
Lastly, the resort of Les Angles is developing a research sector so as to be able to implement new technical solutions to help operate its ski domain whilst reducing its energy dependence and impact on resources. This role as a "laboratory" should result in numerous environmental experiments and initiatives within the very near future.
The ANA Chalet, a chalet with services, has been awarded the Ecolabel. It is the first accommodation in the department and only the second in the region to obtain the EU Ecolabel.