The Marsh of Saint Fraigne

The marsh spans forty acres and is a wonderful reservoir of biodiversity, often a refuge for endangered species.
About ten years ago a collective awareness led to the re-flooding of the area that was being farmed mainly for sweetcorn. Today nature has been allowed to take its course thanks to the concerted effort of farmers, water and river management authorities and the Regional Conservatory of Natural Areas of Poitou-Charentes (owner of part of the area).
This area is made up of peat where the soil is composed of elements produced by the fossilization of plant debris in the aquatic environmen). During the two World Wars peat, albeit a poor fuel, was used to replace coal during shortages. Its extraction served many families in the area until the 50s.
Hemp was formerly cultivated widespread in the marsh. After falling into disuse it has reappeared in recent years with the aim to diversify crops. This initiative wasencouraged by the State in 2006 labelled "Rural Centre of Excellence for Hemp". Current uses of hemp are insulation, biomaterials, animal bedding, textiles, stationery and use in industry.

The commune has several ZNIEFF (interesting natural areas of ecological, flora and fauna)

The unusual marshy soil of Saint-Fraigne, which contains both peat and limestone, has allowed the development of remarkable flora, some of which are very rare in the Nouvelle Aquitaine.

On the river banks are the presence of Scripe Holoschoenus, Tétragonoble in pods and even some mountain plants which very rare in the area, such as Inula de Vaillant also called Winter Horsetail, have been found.

The entire area also contains unique aquatic birds that use the site for over-wintering, for a migratory resting place (Curlews, Redshanks, Godwits) or as a nesting site. A small mammal, rarely found in centre-west France, the Polecat, also frequent the area regularly.


Walk in the marshes with the CREN


Isle Nature

Maison de l'eau
Rue du Chant du Coq

16140 Saint-Fraigne




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