The Lower Valleys of the Vienne and Indre

Published on 24 July 2017 - Updated 16 December 2019

A Natura 2000 site for heritage birds

Floodplains, wooded farmland, poplar tree plantations, cropland, alluvial afforestation and aquatic environments are home to a wealth of fauna and flora. By upholding extensive farming practices, natural grasslands can be maintained.


Natura 2000 is a European network of nature spots worth protecting, bringing together remarkable and endangered species and habitats. 

The Lower Valleys encompass the Indre and Vienne floodplains, upstream of their confluence with the Loire.  

22 municipalities concerned in west Touraine  

5,671 hectares of surface area 

1,900 hectares of floodplains 

16 bird species of European interest 


  • safeguard the last population of corncrakes in the Centre region – an emblematic bird of the alluvial hay meadows,
  • protect the other rare nesting birds living in the meadows and wooded farmland: Whinchat, Passerines, Red-backed shrike, etc.
  • safeguard and upkeep wetlands for other species of migratory or wintering bird which feed there (Herons, Terns, Black kite, etc.).


The project is backed by the Centre Regional Directorate for the Environment, Development and Housing (DREAL) and Europe (EAFRD). 

Outcome and outlook

50 farmers have committed to agro-environmental measures over 1,400 ha.  

7 non-agricultural agreements have been signed to convert poplar groves into grassland or upkeep pollards. An emergency measure for the corncrakes' breeding sites is being rolled out in partnership with the LISEA Biodiversité foundation.