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Another fabulous working holiday to La Brenne November 2016


There were 13 in the EuCAN group that spent seven nights in La Brenne in central France November 21st to 30th and worked for five days with our partners and friends at La Chérine Reserve. We cleared tree heather and thorn scrub from several areas of marsh, one of them the habitat for the rare Alcon Blue butterfly, Maculinea alcon; we removed more of the invasive ash trees from a former meadow on La Touche Reserve to enable the Snakeshead Fritillary plants to flourish there (see photo above). We enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of our French friends, ate delicious food and were treated to the most amazing Crane spectacles that we have ever experienced. The local population of wintering and passage birds totalled over 7000 while we were there and on two evenings we went out to watch the birds rise up in skeins of 50-100 from the maize fields where they spend the days and head for the nearby lake where they spend the nights on the edge of the reedbed.


We stayed in the village gîte and cooked our own meals as a group but our final supper in the hotel in the village square was one of Bernard’s best yet – it included the two pike we had been given as a starter and the wild boar haunch presented to us by our friend Christian as the main course.


Our very grateful thanks go to everyone in the group and to all our French friends for helping to make this such a successful visit – we hope to be back soon!

A selection of the photos from the visit can be seen on our Flickr site here.