March 2008 La Brenne

We worked at a number of sites in the Chérine reserve area during this placement, with four French WWF volunteers for a week and with the Foyer from Le Blanc again.

Apart from the usual fantastic eating and drinking experiences, particularly notable moments were the Mass at the Benedictine Monastery at Fontgombault, our visit to the beautiful town of Angles-sur-Anglin on the edge of the limestone gorge of the river Anglin, hearing the singing of Natterjack toads and watching the wintering Cranes. And a very early Whiskered Tern on our last day, freshly arrived from Africa.


Wren Franklin Dan Randall
Hayley Summers James Maher
Peter Abbott Species List

October 2008 La Brenne and Congis-sur-Therouanne

As last autumn, we spent one week in La Brenne scrub cutting on several sites including the land beside the newly purchased Étang (lake) Purais, and the second week near Meaux east of Paris where we worked on the reserve at Le Grand Voyeux. Here we built a huge observation screen for visiting groups, using alder posts and willow branches woven into them – a very satisfying achievement. A by-product of this job was the removal of the willow invading the reedbeds beside the pools.

Highlights of the placement included helping to sort the fish taken out of the Cistude lake after its annual emptying; watching Zoe, the Pond Tortoise specialist, record and mark several of these rare animals; visiting the World War 1 memorial on the River Marne at La Ferté sous Jouarre and the Brie factory nearby.


Steve Bennett Ceirios Davies
Chantal Brown David Bray
Emma Harrison Jane Brown
Jane Brown (Moths) Julian Jones
Richard Cooper Species List