February 2010 La Brenne

The team in La Brenne

We saw La Brenne in all its wintry beauty – many of the lakes were frozen and insect life was very sparse! It was never warm enough to put out the moth trap. But we managed to achieve a fantastic amount of management work, especially on the edge of the newly acquired Étang Purais. There we cleared willow and thorn scrub from the reedbed in an area which will be grazed by the local farmer in the autumn to improve the area for wildlife and to prevent the regrowth of the bushes which threaten to choke the reedbed. We worked with the employees of the Chérine Reserve and with a local group of volunteers.

As always, we enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of the local people of Mézières-en-Brenne, ate delicious meals, went on bike rides and pony treks, joined in football practice in the local leisure centre, watched the Six Nations rugby matches in the local bar and generally immersed ourselves in the local countryside and culture.

Highlights of the visit included some of the less common winter bird visitors – Smew, Spoonbills, Hen Harriers and of course the flocks of Cranes which we saw in very large numbers (perhaps 2000) – and some wonderful huge ancient chestnut and oak trees which we were shown nearby. Not to forget the amazing chocolate birthday cake/gateau made for one of the group by the local baker in the village!


Heather Thompson Lisa Wilson
Michael Enebeli Rob McBride
Louise Jane Helen Fairlamb

And not content with just writing a report, Richard Greenland put together this great video of our trip: