“There are small ponds that are populated by dozens of very rare species: amphibians, lizards, beetles… It's a truly amazing site.
We are both in the Natura 2000 zone and in a nature reserve”, explains Emmanuèle Savart, communication officer at the Conservatoire d'Espaces Naturels de Champagne-Ardenne.
Over nearly a hundred hectares, extend the pâtis (wastelands) of Mesnil-sur-Oger (Marne), south of Épernay.
As far as the eye can see, there is a landscape of moorland made up of gorse, broom or calluna and Scots pines.
And it is here that this Wednesday, December 7, dozens of families will take turns to collect these pines deemed too invasive.
“This year there is a great enthusiasm”
Emmanuèle Savart, communication officer at the Conservatory of Natural Spaces of Champagne-Ardenne
The goal: to come back with the Christmas tree(s) of their dream.
No matter the number, no limit is set.
“The richness of these moors is in danger because the pine colonizes all the available spaces to the detriment of rare species, recalls Emmanuèle Savart.
By removing as many trees as possible, the inhabitants will do something for the environment.
And for their wallet because, this year, Christmas trees are not immune to inflation.
And the Conservatory recognizes that the phone has not stopped ringing as the operation approaches.
“Last year we did a test on this site to collect a few trees with the local population, but this year there is great enthusiasm and we have organized two times to welcome people.
No registration required
And beyond the free provision of a Christmas tree, the conservatory organizes an awareness campaign for these one-day “loggers” on environmental issues.
“Before accompanying them to choose their tree, we will introduce them to the site and all the biodiversity it contains.
This will be an opportunity to explain to them the practices related to preservation,” emphasizes Emmanuèle Savart.
For those who decide at the last minute, it will still be possible to participate.
No prior registration is required, only imperative: plan to bring your saw.
See you on Wednesday December 7 at 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. at the Arboretum of Mesnil-sur-Oger.
More info on www.cen-champagne-ardenne.org