Les Tourades

We have mentioned many times in these blogs the A Rocha France centre at Les Courmettes, because this is the one we lived at and continue to be involved with most. There is in fact a second centre, which came into existence well before Courmettes, at Les Tourades, a few kilometres outside Arles. (The fact that both A Rocha France centres are in the south-east of the country has not escaped the attention of the A Rocha France board: if anybody wants to give us a nice chateau in northern or central France, preferably without needing any restoration, feel free!)

The main house at Les Tourades

The smaller and older house where the science office is

Tourades is very different from Courmettes and probably gets crowded with only a dozen people staying. Its environmental significance is that it’s not far from the Camargue and the vast wetlands – now substantially drained – that were present there. In particular, there is a small finger of the wetlands a few kilometres to the north of Tourades, the Ilon Marsh, which the Tourades team in various incarnations have been responsible for helping to preserve (see our blog on swallow ringing).

In the science office: The current volunteers at Tourades who are helping with various science projects

Timothée Schwartz is the science director

Due to the manager of Tourades being on holiday, we went over for three days to help out. It’s about 1 hour 40 minutes away from us which is pretty much the same as Courmettes. It’s a charming site with lots of trees, lots of birds and some lovely open scenery not far away.

Near the house looking towards Arles: this area has been cut off from the main marsh

We enjoyed our visit and all being well in the next couple of weeks will post some pictures of Arles and the Camargue.

And finally, there is the need for an individual or (preferably) a couple to manage Tourades for (probably) the end of the year for (probably) the next couple of years. Anyone interested, get in touch!

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