Devant-le-Bard quarry (Charente-Maritime) and Vallée de Guizengeard quarry (Charente), France — Creation of an environment to f...Context
Imerys Refractory Minerals Clérac operates in a set of quarries in the department of Charentes. They are located south-east of Angoulême in the villages of Montguyon-Clérac and Guizengeard. The clay mined by Imerys Refractory Minerals Clérac is composed of alumina-rich kaolinite.
In these territories, 3 ZNIEFF zones and several Natura 2000 zones protect the
banks of the Lary and the Palais rivers. Two of the quarries restored by Imerys Refractory Minerals Clérac (Devant-le-Bard et Guizengeard) are being the object of fauna studies. Although the areas are not protected, from May to August they are home to a population of European bee-eaters (protected species by the decree of April 17th, 1981).
The development of these sites and their partial reuse by Imerys Refractory Minerals Clérac took into account the fauna’s presence.
The conditions that favor installation of these migratory birds from the Meropidae
family have been maintained on the various sites.
- This colorful bird nests in sunny, steep zones made up of sand and indurated clay, an environment created by mining. The zones have not been altered since activities ended. Man-made perches remain in the various quarries (high-tension lines, fencing). The birds need these to hunt.
- To shelter from predators, the bee-eaters dig lairs several meters deep. The quarries were filled with water at the end of operations, limiting access to faces and allowing this fauna to develop.
Little monitoring has been done so far, but the birds, which were absent when
mining began, return every year in early spring. Projects for transferring the sites to
conservatoires are being examined.
- Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (bird protection league)