Guide to management of overgrown milieus on the banks of the Loire

Published on 28 February 2014 - Updated 05 March 2014
Cet article date d'il y a plus de 7 ans

The Saumur agglomeration community and the Maine-et-Loire Chamber of Agriculture based the guide on experience gained during implementation of a project initiated in 2009 with the aim of recovering the flood-prone meadowlands of an 18-km embanked alluvial corridor. The guide’s content and the recommendations it makes were drafted with the help of local stakeholders and stockbreeders.

Much land alongside the Loire is difficult to make good use of owing to location (valley floors or hillsides) or innate disadvantages (flooding or steep slopes), and is consequently left to grow wild. 

There are numerous issues at play here: 

  • The environmental issue: conservation of species and habitats on a site belonging to the Natura 2000 network
  • The landscaping issue: with maintenance of the Valley’s views and perspectives as a UNESCO site listed as a cultural landscape
  • The hydraulic issue: temporary storage of water on such land limits the impact of flooding on built-up areas
  • The economic issue: once restored, such meadowland will benefit farmers, who in turn will render service to local authorities by maintaining it

As the introduction puts it: “Starting from the principle that we have inherited landscapes fashioned by yesteryear’s economy and that we will have to reinvent an economy guaranteeing maintenance of tomorrow’s meadowlands, it is of primordial importance that we implement reliable tools for management of these highly demanding areas, so that stockbreeders can make a living out of them and become key actors in this ambitious land recovery project”

Enabling assessment of the current situation and putting forward workable alternatives through pasturing of livestock, the document holds the promise of turning abandoned wilderness into open meadowland rich in natural plant life.  

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