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Nature Festival and LIFE actions in Brittany (F)

Created in 2007, the Nature Festival is an initiative of the French Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Wild Earth magazine. The main objective is to celebrate nature each year, making managers, owners, project developers, or general public to meet.

In 2014, some members of the LIFE team had already been involved in a two-day event in the Nivot school and the Departmental Federation of hunters (FDC29) headquarters in Ty Blaise. For it was a nice success in 2014, the LIFE team, in collaboration with RTE and FDC29 offered during a visit to two local schools: a high school forest class and the Kerbernez Nivot school.

Organization of the day

Three activities were offered during the day: general presentations indoors, opening of ty Blaise interpretive trail, and technical workshops on the actions of the LIFE Elia-RTE on site.

Morning presentation

A presentation of three partners working on the site ty Blaise was given, showing the synergy between security of high and very high voltage network, biodiversity conservation and improving the environment for wildlife. Speeches were given by Stephanie Leissen from the FDC29, Sandrine Willer from RTE and Gérard Jadoul from the LIFE Elia-RTE team.

Inauguration of the didactic pannel "interpretive trail"

First part of a larger project of educational trail, the inauguration of the first panel was an opportunity to pay tribute to Jean-Paul Boidot, President of the Departmental Federation of Hunters of Finistère who died recently. From the start, he understood the challenges of the LIFE project and worked with the help of his team, its integration to the vicinity of ty Blaise training site.

The new president Daniel Autret stressed out the importance of a fruitful collaboration between the LIFE project and FDC29, to set up in ty Blaise a center of excellence in working to protect the environment. A concert of hunting horn given by the ringers Echos Keroual.

Technical workshops - actions of LIFE Elia-RTE

The afternoon was devoted to three workshops presenting the actions of the LIFE project and its interactions with the objectives of the FDC29. A first workshop was given on bogs and ponds, second, the importance of the management of grasslands and heaths, and a third to the integration of structured forest edges in a forest management along the high-voltage line. Two schools were attending them.

Many questions arouse and future forestry graduates were interested by the original approach to meet electrical safety.

Meetings between partners and owners

Priori to this visit, a working day was also dedicated with the various partners working for the success of the LIFE project in Brittany, the FDC29, RTE and private owners affected by the network grid in their properties and want to find a durable solution for these areas.

After a presentation of the LIFE project actions and an exchange of point of views in the dining room, a visit was organised with different owners concerned by the vicinity of ty Blaise, and Loqueffret.

After a visit to the first owner of a parcel, it will be proposed to restore of heather moorland in the high voltage network in addition to actions that are good for hunting too, including planting fruit trees and shrubs.

A second owner encouraged LIFE actions to take place on its land. It will be possible to plant fruit trees from Britany forest to enrich forest edges. On a low point,  soil removing will restore a wetland aera including digging a pond.

Forest properties of a third owner are crossed by a high voltage line from end to end. The visit of the afternoon helped to highlight the opportunity to dig more ponds in areas covered with purple-moor grass. An orchard of wild apple trees (Malus sylvestris) from Brittany (harvested with the help of Laurent Doggie and his team) will be planted on a stepped edge adjacent to a future forest of Sitka spruce. Various actions are offered to solve the problem of regular topping of dangerous oaks for the power line. The visit was conducted in the company of the GMR environment of Britanny of RTE (Networks Maintenance Group) in order to compare the proposals made to the owner with the requirements of sustainable security of the network.

These meetings will be be followed by a cartographic feedback summary and a validation of the proposals with the possibility to carry out actions for the autumn-winter 2015-2016.

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