Touvérac quarry (Charente), France — Creation of an environment rich in protected flora and fauna: Sweet gale, European pond te...Context
Since the early 20th century, Imerys Refractory Minerals Clérac has mined kaolin deposits in Charente (16 department) and Charente Maritime (17 department). The Touvérac quarry, located south-east of Angoulême on the territory of Saint-Pierre-du-Palais village, has not been in operation since the 1990’s.
The quarry was rehabilitated and now forms a 35-hectare wetland. Since 1995, the zone has been classified ZNIEFF type 1 and it is in a Natura 2000 zone.
Protected flora on the site includes Myrica gale and Kerry lily. Fauna is highly varied with the European pond terrapin, the Dartford warbler and the Marsh fritillary butterfly. Given the wealth of biodiversity that has developed around the three basins, proceedings to have the site listed as a regional nature reserve are in progress.
The zone was initially made up of fields and forest. Following mining, new environments have developed:
- A wetland is represented by several lakes (L’Etang de la Charbonnière Les Terriers des Renards and the largest, Touvérac).
- Dry zones on a sandy substratum.
- Lawns and pine forests have been set up.
The site, which is owned by Imerys Refractory Minerals Clérac (more than 32 hectares) and CREN* (more than 1 hectare) has been rented to CREN for a 30-year leasehold for a token euro. Since 1995, this association has managed the site by restoring and maintaining environments. In ten or so years, the location has become a benchmark for biodiversity. Inventories are in progress to determine how plant and animal populations are evolving.
The site is open to public. Since 2003, scenic viewpoints have been installed, as well as information boards, to raise the population’s awareness of various topics, including geology, flora and fauna.
The Touvérac site is managed by the regional natural areas conservatory (CREN)
- Charente Nature
- DREAL and Charente regional council
- Tourist office