An interpretation trail for a lively country

Conservatoire d'Espaces Naturels de Lorraine is developing an interpretation trail in the National Nature Reserve of Montenach, a hotspot of the regional biodiversity.

Environment and Biodiversity

Montenach, France

Cédric Bouzendorffer

€12,000 to the Selection Committee at 2013/04/09

Project leader

Conservatoire d'espaces naturels de Lorraine

"This lasting and creative project is beneficial for a site that is very well known, a hotspot of the biodiversity in Lorraine, and which will host the conference of the Fédération des Espaces Naturels de France. CEN is now accommodating and training the Biodiversity Group of which I am the referent for Veolia Propreté Industries Services (VPIS)."

Cédric Bouzendorffer

Conservatoire d'Espaces Naturels (CEN) de Lorraine has been working for thirty years to preserve the heritage biological wealth of the natural landmarks and environments of Lorraine for their scientific, cultural and landscape values. Its missions range from in-depth knowledge of the natural environments and species (inventories and observatories), to their enhancement with the public (raising its awareness of their value), and include the protection of the sites by land control (space acquisition) or use control (agreements with owners) and their management, in accordance with plans validated by its scientific board.

Making people discover and protect biodiversity, here and elsewhere

CEN is developing an interpretational trail on the route of the discovery trail of the National Nature Reserve of Montenach, famous for the variety of wild orchids that thrive there. The track, part of a walking trail marked out in 2013, starts at the Maison de la Nature du Pays de Sierck and winds across the limestone hills of Loeschenbruchberg and Kremberg.It is suitable for all publics: schoolchildren (from primary to high school) and children from day care centers, students at the nearby universities and agricultural schools, groups of adults on outings in the Sierck country, families freely visiting the site, visitors from neighboring countries (all the texts are translated into German and English). The aim is to make people discover the natural wealth of the site but, above all, to educate the public on the need to preserve the biodiversity on outstanding nature spaces and also in its everyday environment.

The Montenach landscape is lively rather than quiet!

CEN has decided on an interpretation methodology that serves to account for the representations of the visitors and to involve the local population in deeper reflection. A survey helped define the overall theme: "The Montenach landscape is lively rather than quiet!" (Le Paysage de Montenach n'est pas un pays sage, il est joueur!). The interpretation doesn't split up the various heritage aspects, it links them, the idea being to create a bond, a narrative enriched by the arts and sciences. The text depicts a site as it would an individual, addressing both its past and its character and features. This creates an affective bond between the site and the visitor, who becomes personally concerned with its protection. The aim is to take fuller advantage of the site by increasing its attendance as well as that of the Maison de la Nature, and to encourage the involvement of the visitors, especially the locals, in the Association des Amis de la Réserve des 7 Collines or the Conservatoire d'Espaces Naturels de Lorraine.

The media items are installed on the land by the employees of the Conservatoire with the help of volunteers:patients from the Centre d'Accueil Thérapeutique à Temps Partiel Van Gogh (structure depending on the psychiatric ward of the Metz - Thionville Regional Hospital). The two organizations have been partners since 2000 in managing the lawns and in the upkeep of the trails on the reserve.

An interpretation trail for a lively country

Alongside the Veolia Foundation, the development of the trail enjoys the backing of the European Union (Feder), the French Ministry of Ecology, the General Council of Moselle and the Fondation Nature & Découvertes.