LPO reserve

LPO (French society for the protection of birds) reserve

The Département has chosen the heritage site of the Harcourt estate as the location for the Eure Season Observatory. The arboretum, a place for scientific and educational experiments and observation of trees and forests for over two centuries, is the ideal place to conduct this specific, innovative new mission in the twenty-first century.

What it’s all about

An LPO Reserve is a small or large piece of land, park or garden, garrigue or forest, that may be in the city or countryside – and where the owner invests to protect nature. “REFUGE LPO - Jardin d’oiseaux” (‘LPO bird reserve’) is an accreditation granted by the French Bird Protection League to any land where action is taken to protect nature.

Setting up an LPO reserve involves taking simple, practical action to help nature and birds – and help protect wildlife in general on your land on a daily basis. It also involves helping to protect the environment by adopting environmentally friendly behaviours. These welcoming venues allow everyone to discover and appreciate nature, whether it’s a family in their garden or visitors to city parks.

The LPO offers private individuals, associations and local authorities the chance to register their land in its “Jardins d’oiseaux” network.

In June 2009 (2012 figures), the network had 14,700 reserves, providing a total surface area of 34,743 ha of animal wildlife havens, including those in the Eure département.


The project


In addition to its vocation as a cultural, heritage and tourist site, for a number of years Harcourt has been involved in environmental action focusing on plant heritage, biodiversity and observing climate change.

The Upper Normandy Society for the Protection of Birds (LPOHN) is a natural partner for this action. In 2013, the partnership gained a new dimension, with the “LPO Reserve” accreditation being granted to Harcourt (Gisacum will follow in 2014), and the organisation of events for the general public aimed at learning about the world of birds.

For over 3 years, the Harcourt estate has been organising a number of environmental events (owl night, launch of the “Discover nature in the Eure” (‘DNE’) programme, the ‘wood and forest’ festival and recently the Automnales autumn festival). For these, the site regularly calls on LPOHN for its knowledge of places, species and educational knowhow aimed at many different audiences (children, families, beginners and experienced nature lovers).

The partnership with LPOHN follows on from the work begun on the sites over the last few years. The creation of the LPO Reserve further demonstrates the environmentally-friendly nature of the sites (further asserted in 2012 with the creation of the Eure Season Observatory at the Harcourt estate), as well as their desire to become established as places for raising public awareness and protecting biodiversity.

‘LPO Reserve’ signage on site would enable differentiated management to be promoted by means of effective, discrete publicity. The ‘REFUGE LPO’ logo is known to the public and associated with the notions of biodiversity and an environmentally-friendly attitude.

In addition, detailed information could be placed online using the various internet communication media (websites and Facebook). The inventories produced during the year and tools provided by LPOHN will also make it possible to create new items that can be used to raise awareness about biodiversity. The idea is to communicate about common species and their daily habits – those that can be observed by anybody at home or close by. The communication will also relate to the rare species highlighted at Harcourt, in order to promote the exceptional nature of the site.