Spring is on its’ way. Warm sunshine. Tess and I stroll up the road. Tess races off in search of non-existent rabbits. I see a new post in the distance. As I walk towards it, I see there is a notice attached to it.
‘Enquete Publique.’ (Public Enquiry).
I read on and the words ‘Création d’un atelier porcin, 380 truies (sows), 1176 animaux’ does not fill me with confidence.
Will the field at the end of our road be the site of a new pig farm?
Guillaume will know. I walk a bit further and find him splitting huge logs with the help of a mechanical splitter which is attached to a very ancient tractor. Guillaume is very excited with the ‘splitter’ that he has borrowed for the day and gives me a full demonstration.
I ask about the notice.
‘Ne t’inquiète pas, don’t worry, there is a farm over in Monteneuf, and he points way off. The farmer wants to increase the number of sows but the pig farming regulations are so tight now that he has to prove that increasing the number of animals on his farm will not have an impact on the environment in terms of slurry runoff, increased vehicles to and from the farm, etc…’ Jean rambles on. ‘The Public Enquiry is part of the new EU rules, don’t worry it won’t affect us.’ He says, kindly looking at my relieved face.