Herdsmen with heart: A summer on Slovenia’s alpine pastures

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It’s five o’clock in the morning when Žan Potočnik slips on his wooden clogs and heads out to tend to his herd. The cows have to be fed and milked before he even thinks about his own breakfast. It has always been this way on Velika Planina, a vast plateau high in the Slovenian Kamnik Alps, some 40 kilometres north of the capital Ljubljana. Here, at an altitude of over 1,600 metres above sea level, a special pastoral culture has been preserved for generations. As soon as the snow has melted in June, the herders from the surrounding villages lead their cows up into the mountains to graze the lus…

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