The Grand'Mare district in Rouen was founded on an old farm at the end of the 1960s. The buildings and pavilions are still surrounded by forests and there are many green spaces.
A sensitive urban area since 1996, the district has seen the establishment over the years of the head office of the Rouen Hockey Club and the Higher School of Art and Design Le Havre-Rouen.
One way for successive municipalities, among other social, sporting and cultural actions, to “create links” and ensure “a peaceful life” for residents, from all social backgrounds and from various origins.
A desire pursued by the new majority which intends to assert its social-ecological policy there.
With horses, the link with children is immediate.
# PRESS30 Frederic DURANT
As a return to the district's rural origins, the first concrete action noted by the residents was the arrival of two Norman Cob horses towing a car: “Once a month, we will collect urban litter bins during a an hour and a half circuit, explains Fantine Costil, the founder in 2016 of the Cheval en Seine association. There are several advantages: economical, because horses are less expensive than the maintenance of vehicles; ecological, because they do not pollute, and social. First, we work with the integration association Interm'Aide, which allows people to get back into the employment circuit. Then, we noticed that horses attracted people and especially young people. They are the creators of links ”argues Fantine Costil,the founder in 2016 of the Cheval en Seine association.
The quiet strength of Gamin and Gibus
Peacefully, Gamin and Gibus respond to the sound of the coachman without any fear, “because they come from Haras du Pin.
They are work horses trained in this environment.
They carry out their task at their own pace.
Then, they join an eco-pasture nearby ”.
Collecting four-legged baskets pic.twitter.com/mcTxKLCT5L
- # Presse30 (@ presse_30) April 21, 2021
In the company of the two horses, two agents empty the baskets and collect the bags: “Here, we ensure the cleanliness of the streets of the district.
We found the demand from the city interesting, which concerns the desire for renaturation, the introduction of animals into the city and also the return to employment for women and men ”explains Grégory Lamare, director of 'Interm'Aide.
An opinion shared 100% by Christine Bourrigan, the local Urban Management project manager in the city of Rouen, at the origin of this project.
“Horses bring tranquility.
They go everywhere.
No one is forgotten.
Later, we want to organize meetings with the population, children from schools and recreation centers.
It is also a highlight of the agents, because people and especially kids do not realize that the waste is collected.
The horse makes this task visible.
This is our main goal.
Soon a chicory and mushroom farm
As for her, Fantine Costil, of the Cheval en Seine association, hopes that this initiative will develop elsewhere and is already considering the arrival of a new companion. In the near future, the Grand'Mare will also see the development of market gardening and, more unusual, the creation in a disused underground car park of an urban farm around endives and mushrooms. “All of this is supported by an integration structure to supply our associative restaurant, Léo à table and school canteens, on a very short circuit,” explains the first assistant, Jean-Michel Bérégovoy. This will also make it possible to offer local jobs. "