Going out: Marais de Massili, 5th sensitive natural site

Last June, the president of the Saône-et-Loire department, André Acari, and the vice-president in charge of the environment, Catherine Amiot, inaugurated the 5th sensitive natural site in Massilly. After the ENS du Pont du Roi in Saint-Emiland, the Marais de Montseux-l’Etoile, the Etang de Ponteaux and the Lande de Nancel in La Roche-Viennes, it is the ENS du Marais de Massilly that has opened its doors. public

Part of the Saône-et-Loire department’s mission is to preserve and enhance particularly sensitive heritage and allow the public to discover and appreciate its resources.

In this context, through the departmental plan for sensitive natural areas revised in 2020, three new ENS complete the offer in Saône-et-Loire. Among them, the Marais de Massilly which joins the departmental tradition in 2018. It is 5 ENS developed by Department. Massili Marsh is open to the public from April 2022.

Located in the “Prés des Tilles”, Marais de Massilly consists of three plots and represents a total area of ​​2.6 hectares. Like all types of wetlands, wetlands provide valuable services by providing useful functions for the ecological balance: flood control, playing the role of natural sponges, but also improving water quality thanks to their ability to filter vegetation.

The ENS du Marais de Massilly is a low marsh colonized by plants adapted to the temporary or permanent presence of water. It is thus composed of a variety of moist natural habitats with a clear predominance of large sedges forming a sedge meadow. These habitats, of high traditional value, occupy small areas and have declined in recent years with forest advances and pastoral abandonment of these areas. Although useful, these environments are now under threat and it has become imperative to preserve them.

The ENS du Marais de Massilly thus has a great animal and plant biodiversity. Such wetlands thus form a feeding or hosting area for many species of birds, spiders, amphibians and butterflies. Thus, the proven presence of marsh copper, mercury emeralds but also several species of amphibians such as tree frogs or spotted salamanders testify to the richness of this environment. Additionally, the Marais de Massilly is surrounded by bocage hedgerows providing ecological corridors, shelter, breeding and nesting sites for many species.

A discovery trail for young and old to explore

A discovery trail, equipped with various educational panels, has been laid out in such a way as to provide good public visibility and to ensure that the tranquility of the site and the quality of the identified habitat are preserved as much as possible. As a result, the opening of the site to the public has been studied with the utmost attention, taking into account the fragility of the environment. A rational development of Massili’s wetlands makes it possible to highlight its biodiversity and raise public awareness of wetland conservation and species protection. Take the walk to listen to the birdsong and soak up this magical soundscape. A great opportunity to discover nature in a different way.

The site is freely accessible to all. The main access invites visitors to park (free) in the Greenway car park at the old Massili station before walking the greenway towards Cluny for about 900 meters to reach the wetlands. People with reduced mobility also have the possibility to access the site: a two-space parking area, accessible by vehicle via a forest path, is placed along the greenway.

the works

To allow the public to attend this beautiful landscape, great work has been done by the Saône-et-Loire department investing more than €120,000.

A journey of discovery that includes:

  • A gravel path of about 140 linear meters crosses the forest area in direct connection with the greenway before reaching the wetlands.
  • A wooden deck on stilts of about 160 linear meters allows you to discover the wetlands while limiting the impact of trampling on the environment,
  • A 25 m² and 1.20 m high observation platform that offers an improved view of the site as well as the Großne riparian forest and nearby forest,
  • A pond of about 20 m² in area to raise awareness of the importance of ponds while creating an ecological corridor in ENS.
  • A car park reserved for people with reduced mobility with 2 parking spaces near the entrance to the site,
  • Interpretation panels to explain the species of animals and plants present in the ENS.

The Act of July 18, 1985 on the preservation of the quality of the site, landscape and natural environment, which is now included in the Town Planning Code under Article L142, empowers departments to protect, manage and formulate and implement a policy for this. Opening of Sensitive Natural Areas (ENS) to the public through Departmental Plans for Sensitive Natural Areas.

The ambition of these new directions is to maintain and develop the departmental approach to the conservation of natural spaces, to diversify its discovery offer to the public, to create a network of quality natural spaces, diverse in type of environment, geographically distributed throughout the Saône. -at-lower

Guided tours

As part of their partnership with the Department, guided tours led by a nature animator from the Department or the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO) have been scheduled in 5 sensitive natural areas. These free guided tours, aimed at the general public and schoolchildren, are organized throughout the year for groups during the summer season and upon request.

Next guided visit to Marais de Massilly:

  • Friday, August 5: In Search of Swamp Copper (section guide)

Information and registration: 03 85 39 55 00 – pier@saoneetloire71.fr

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