The meadows of the dyked-up corridor in the Saumur region

Published on 15 December 2016 - Updated 04 January 2021

Enhancing the local area through farming

The main guideline of the project launched in 2009 was to reclaim, by grazing livestock farming, the meadow liable to flooding of the dyked-up Loire bed, where the landscape was in the process of closing up. The project territory currently concerns 1,100ha extending over 16km in the greater Saumur area.


An assessment

Between 2009 and 2012, several studies were performed to consolidate the project: Surveys among farmers to find out routine practices, assessment of hedge quality, assessment of fodder potential in the meadows, mapping of the territory: operation, owner, soil use, set against the keys issues identified, etc. An action plan was drawn up on the basis of these studies. 

The action plan

The 2013/2015 action plan bears on five key themes: Improving meadow management, protecting and shoring up undertakings, restoring oxbows, setting up joint management of the area (including the land association) and promoting produce.   

Setup of a farming land association

Its setup with a view to managing the site is in progress. The aim is to facilitate the leasing of the meadows to farmers to offset the fragmentation of the land. This association will, among other things, enable members to find funding for a range of development and upkeep projects.    

The benefits

A project taking an overall approach to the management of a site, with cross-cutting account taken of the environmental, river-related, economic and landscape challenges.   

Upkeep of spaces by grazing helps to control vegetation dynamics and to combat landscape closure.     

Many farmers have established contracts regarding agri-environnemental measures (non-use of plant protection products, strict limitation of fertiliser use, late mowing, etc.).   

The measures taken can be reproduced elsewhere.   

An incentive to the location of new farmers and promotion of produce.