IMAGES ─ Eight months after the Pignada fire in Anglet, Izadia park reopens its doors

Spring is synonymous with good news in Anglet. In Izadia Ecological Park, birds can be heard singing again; you can see rabbits, foxes, dragonflies and other butterflies. Nature has begun to take back its rights, and the site, whose fire of July 30, 2020 had devastated 5 of the 15 hectares, will be once again accessible to the public from Wednesday April 7.

More than 1,100 trees were replanted this winter 2020 against 200 to 300 usually © Radio France
Stephane Garcia

“We have replanted about 1,100 seedlings of trees or shrubs” details Olivier Eudes, polyvalent agent of the park. “Mainly tamarisk, maritime pines, cork oak, or broom, which make magnificent yellow flowers. A certain mix, therefore. We are not going to redo a pine forest as we had done before, we are going rather favor a small mixture of hardwoods and pines.”

Still blackened trunks

Of course, the stigmata are certainly still present, as evidenced by the algecos which now replace the reception building, which has been completely destroyed. But the most striking is this landscape which is divided in two between the two lakes. “This is really the place where the fire stopped”, says Dominique Gibaud-Gentili, director of the Izadia park.

Part burnt by fire
Part burnt by fire © Radio France
Stephane Garcia

“On the one hand, we can still see the impact of the fire, with blackened trunks and very low vegetation which is still a little lunar. And as soon as we cross to go to the south lake, here is Izadia exactly like before the fire. “

Part remained intact
Part remained intact © Radio France
Stephane Garcia

A “housing crisis”

The stake of this reforestation was twofold. On the one hand, there was an urgent need to restore vegetation, to hold the banks and protect the dune which goes up the Boulevard des Plages. Because of the flames, the dune found itself “bare”, exposed to winds and spray.

On the other hand, it was necessary to put in place the natural habitat of a whole fauna, which got lost overnight. It was “a housing crisis for birds” explains Dominique Gibaud-Gentili. “The burnt and felled pines are less homes for them. We have therefore returned to the park about thirty nesting boxes, even on fairly open areas and on dead trees. And obviously, they are all occupied.”

Nesting boxes have been installed in the middle of the plantations
Nesting boxes have been installed in the middle of the plantations © Radio France
Stephane Garcia

A reopening that is good, rejoices Valérie Dequeker, the environmental assistant at the town hall of Anglet. “Everyone will appreciate it, all the more with the new government measures. The site will be open to the public while during the first confinement, parks, forests and edges of the beach were prohibited. Angloys, residents will be happy to come back to this site and rediscover good feelings. “

Reopening with sanitary measures (hydroalcoholic gel and mask) and a level limited to 50 people.

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A walk in Izadia Park is also an opportunity to admire water birds
A walk in Izadia Park is also an opportunity to admire water birds © Radio France
Stephane Garcia
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