A lunar calendar to improve my gardening skills

Does the lunar calendar work for planting fruit, vegetables, flowers, for sowing seeds, or for simply gardening? What is the Calendrier Lunaire? Read on.

Exporting a UK-bought LHD car to France

Is it possible or indeed practical to buy a LHD car in the UK, originally registered in Poland, and then import it to France? Are there guidelines to be followed?

Driving in France

In recent years, travelling across to the continent and driving in France has become increasingly easy for Brits, but there are laws and regulations to bear in mind while driving abroad.

Mushroom picking in France

In France, mushroom picking, or “la cueillette des champignons”, is practically a national sport during the Autumn season. However, there are guidelines to follow before wandering through the woods.

Pineau … or Pinot? Do you know the difference?

Pineau is a delicious alcoholic drink which comes from the Charentes region of France. It is a fortified wine made from 3 parts grape juice and 1 part Cognac and, like many great delicacies, was discovered by mistake.

Find out all about Pineau des Charentes

Take a promenade en Barque in the BriereA 5 minute drive from La Roche Bernard takes you to the Parc Naturel Régional de La Brière. The park includes the largest wetland area in France outside of the Camargue. It covers around 100,000 acres. Its establishment in 1970 aimed to  protect the cultural and natural aspects of the area. A vast network of canals, islets, marshes and lagoons play host to a myriad of wildlife, and is a bird-watchers paradise. In addition, you can see traditional crafts, such as thatched roofing, bee-keeping and flower drying, fiercely preserved within the Brière.

Beautiful, wild and peaceful scenes on the Briere in FranceHistory

The Brière is a large lagunar depression located in a collapsed area of the Armorican granite bedrock. There, the blue clay sedimentation is testimony to the repeated oceanic movements over the last 10,000 years. In the Neolithic period it changed from a primarily forested landscape to a swampier more lacustrian environment. Dolmens and menhirs testify to human presence during that period. Some megaliths placed here before the formation of the swamps are now sunk in the peat (like the “fossil” trees called “mortas” by the Briérons). Over the centuries, peat cutting, pasturing, field clearing, fishing and hunting, helped modify the landscape. With the progressive decline in these traditional activities, nature started to return the landscape to its original appearance.

Ile-de-Fédrun

In the heart of the Brière, the area around the Ile-de-Fédrun offers numerous opportunities for tourist excursions.For example, “Promenades en barque” are a particular favourite. Visitors can take a trip on a small punt through the labyrinth-like canal system. You can hire punts and find your own way, or you can take a guided tour. Bréca and Les Fossés Blancs are also a good starting point for other organised boat trips.

Saint-Lyphard

La Briere Natural Regional Park near Saint Lyphard

La Briere near Saint Lyphard

Local legend has it that Saint-Lyphard was once under the spell of a fierce dragon. The beast would only allow people to inhabit the area if they sacrificed a young child each year. Eventually, a hermit managed to slay the dragon by tracking it to its lair, and killing it with his sword. Nowadays, the dragon is gone and visitors can take trips around the local area on Calèches (horse-drawn carts).

Kerhinet

Finally, Kerhinet lies in the heart of the Brière. The village has been restored to look like it would have done in bygone days. The area is pedestrianised and offers various exhibitions of local craft and produce. It boasts a bar and excellent restaurant: we have certainly eaten there a number of times! This is a nice place to stop for a short visit en route between La Roche-Bernard and the beach at La Baule.

Please help us!

If you found this useful, please let your friends know by sharing it here...