French farmers turned the Champs

  PortoNovo KajaNazimudeen
  karma level 241776

France's struggling farmers have decided to stage a beautiful reminder of their trade by bringing vast plots of flowers, herbs and crops to the capital.

Rustic charm: Visitors walk between planted fields on the Champs Elysees near the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris. French farmers have organised a two-day event to draw attention to their trade

And that's not all, visitors to the the Champs-Elysees might be lucky enough to bump into the occasional pig, sheep or cow.

The two-day event, over a French public holiday, has drawn thousands of locals and tourists to the 'country lane', crowned by the Arc de Triomphe.

The farmers have brought with them more than 8,000 plots of earth, 150,000 plants and almost 700 fully grown trees - along with pigs, cows, horses and sheep.

It's aimed at instructing city slickers in the values of Mother Nature while highlighting the work of France's farmers.

Gad Weil, whose Nature Capital group conceived the project, says: 'It's a way to remind people that man lives at the heart of nature.'

Flower children: Parisians and tourists alike enjoyed a day among the flowers and 'fields' brought in

Farmers have seen their costs rise and product prices fall, and feel that their hard work is rarely appreciated in the big city.

Organisers of the event, which cost private investors £3.6m - and has to be removed by the end of tomorrow - said they hoped to attract up to two million people.

Mr Weil said the transformation was a wonderful example of different trades working together, and he expected the clean-up operation to run just as smoothly.

Business as usual: How the busy Champs-Elysees usually looks, clad in concrete and choked with traffic

He added:'Lorry drivers, truck drivers, farmers, woodsmen, events planners: these men don't usually work together, but here everyone is doing so with a smile.'

Visitors were able to buy plants and produce today, sampling regional delicacies. A mas barbeque was put on by Parisian butchers in the afternoon.

It's not the first time that farmers have come up with novel ways to catch president Nicholas Sarkozy's eye and draw attention to their plight. Last month, more than 1,000 cereal farmers drove to the capital on tractors to protest against their plummeting standard of living.

"Porto-Novo" K Nazimudeen,
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