In Côte-d’Or, SNCF is rehabilitating a wetland near Auxonne

Based on the expertise of the Conservatoire d’Espaces Naturels de Bourgogne, the objective today is to rehabilitate this wetland located near the Saône by cutting these poplars over an area of ​​22 hectares, in order to diversify the natural habitats and preserve protected species.

The felling of poplars began in September in the Saône valley
SNCF Network

Return wetlands to their former appearance

SNCF Réseau has been carrying out restoration work on natural wetlands on the Corne Jacquin site located in the Saône valley, from September 1, 2020 until March 31, 2021. This work consists of cutting poplars on a surface of 22 hectares to restore wet meadows that existed prior to the establishment of poplar plantations.

In fact, during hot periods, poplars pump water from the wetland which then loses its role of reservoir. Conversely, in autumn and winter, poplars cannot stand keeping their feet in too abundant water. A poplar drainage system is therefore necessary, but modifies the structure of the soils and therefore removes the wetland from its functional role.

Poplar cutting is underway in the Val de Saône
Poplar cutting is underway in the Val de Saône
SNCF Network

What is the role of wetlands?

Wetlands are today in danger due to the pressure of human activities (urbanization, fragmentation of habitats, intensive agriculture, unsuitable uses, etc.). However, they play a role ofsponge and filtration for quality water preserved and in quantity. By their water retention capacity, wetlands reduce the intensity of floods, and, conversely, support the flow of rivers in times of drought. Wetlands are also habitats for many special animal and plant species, some of which are protected. It is therefore important to preserve them as much as possible.

Rediscover the typical landscapes of the Val de Saône

The objective of this restoration work in the Corne Jacquin wetland is to promote biological diversity. The deforestation of 22 hectares of poplars will ultimately allow find the various natural environments typical of this region of the Val de Saône by increasing the surface of wet meadows and alluvial afforestation.

The site will be managed by the Conservatory of natural spaces of Burgundy, as the future owner. Deforestation is carried out by 2 local companies, BBF (Bongard Bazot et Fils SA) and EBS Transexfo, which intervene with two processes at the same time depending on the zones:

– Harvesters south of the LGV,

– Brush clearing and logging north of the LGV.

In addition, the integration company ‘PROMUT’ intervenes for 250 hours over the entire duration of the site for various missions: installation of regulatory panels on the site and removal of the poplar protection screens.

The site before the start of the works
The site before the start of the works
SNCF Network
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