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BETWEEN NIEVRES AND FORETS

Green land of white water

Of course, the Loire’s majesty tends to attract the tourists, but isn’t the Nièvre the green country of white water? And in the Bertranges you’ll find unsuspected places where water plays a special role…

 

Visit the “Sleeper of the Lake”

 

Do you like to discover unusual places full of magic?

Take time to go and see the Mardelles, small ponds located in the middle of Prémery’s forest. Sometimes covered with sphagnum (a type of moss) or sedge (large tufts of grass), they form small islands among the trees.

 

Classed as a regional nature reserve, this little Eden is home to endemic flora and fauna such as red frogs and even carnivorous plants! After being emptied of three metres of peat, the largest of the ponds has returned to its original state of 15,000 years ago… And there’s a special surprise – during the clean-up, a 3,700-year-old fossil trunk was awakened, “the sleeper of the lake”. You can visit it on the platform that overlooks the bog.

The Mardelles, a Regional Nature Reserve

Say “mardelles” and you’re saying “bog”. Composed of three major plant formations, this wetland is closely monitored to avoid the intrusion of invasive, stifling species, with the aim of bringing back rare and fragile plants. A quick reminder: the bog was originally a body of water, which was gradually covered by vegetation, reaching a thickness of two metres. Bogland is a natural sponge that plays an essential role in filtering rainwater which is distributed across watersheds. Here, you can discover osmunda regalis, the queen of ferns, which is a rare, medicinal plant.

 

The village of Arthel is also worth a visit. In addition to its flower-filled alleys lined with old houses, the Château d’Arthel, Château de la Motte and its medieval enclosure, don’t miss the Grand-Font spring and its picturesque wash house, as well as its pond, the remnant of a reservoir used for floating timber, which inspires painters but also delights fishermen who love frying roach.

A breath of fresh air at the water’s edge

 

Even though we don’t have the sea, you can still find a beach! Indeed, Prémery Lake is a magnificent body of water which coexists in harmony with the Nièvre d’Arzembouy. The ideal place for a walk, you can stroll around it, an easy kilometre or so and a real breath of fresh air. In summer, there’s swimming with a supervised sandy shoreline, a toilet block with showers, games for children, bathing for the little ones, a boules pitch and picnic areas.

 

It’s the beach without the sea air but with green nature, the wildlife of the rivers and the good life of our countryside. You like it and still want more? Then enjoy Etang d’Oulon, a small village 3km south-west of Montenoison, a haven of peace and quiet where centuries-old stones and trees grow older still. A place full of charm that’s well worth a look.

An angler’s paradise

 

Indeed, the Bertranges, with its lakes and Nièvres, is a paradise for fishing. In Guérigny, the Nièvre meets the two other Nièvres, those of Arzembouy and Champlemy, at the Câbles mill race. An ideal place for families, located near the Royal Forges where you can catch good-sized carp and tench while your children have fun in a playground.

 

Prémery’s communal pond is also family-orientated, very well equipped, and home to pike, roach, tench and carp. Anglers in search of a meal lay their rods at Etang de Sourdes in Sainte-Hélène. A little further on, in Narcy, you can even hook trout in the Mazou.

 

And how can we fail to mention the river Nièvre and its many tributaries that offer plenty of opportunities to satisfy your passion, as in Urzy, where gudgeon, minnows as well as pike and perch delight anglers using live bait or after carnivorous fish.

© 2019 Office de tourisme La Charité-sur-Loire, Bertranges, Val de Nièvres

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