We are fortunate with regard to beautiful scenery where we have moved to on the Charente/Dordogne border. Nearly every village is surrounded by rolling countryside and breath-taking views. One of our favourite places is Des Tourbieres de Vendoire which translates as The Boglands of Vendoire. It doesn’t sound very appealing, but this place is beautiful. Situated at the bottom of the Lizonne Valley it is an array of peat bogs of international interest with an amazing diversified fauna and flora.
There are many bogs to explore connected by numerous bridges and viewing posts. Each bog has an information post which explains how the different layers are formed over time within the bog and the vast amounts of plants, insects, birds and if you are really lucky, you may get to see a Copyu.
The bogs have a multimillennial past, and when you venture into the woodland, the vegetation and wood make a sponge and soft carpet to walk on. There is a visitor centre Maison des Tourbières that has an interactive workshop and helps you discover the natural history as well as the past linked to the human activities. As you head into the nature reserve, the sounds of all the different species of birds are joyful. With butterflies, dragonfly and frogs croaking, it’s like a choir in full flow. As I mentioned earlier, the marshes and bogs are home to the Copyu. The coypu is also known as the nutria, is a large, herbivorous, semiaquatic rodent. It is soft cross with and beaver, rat and otter, curios looking, little fellas. They seem to make a sharp exit back into their burrows, maybe they hear Lucas approaching.
The site offers many activities such as fishing, thematic workshops or guided tours by appointment. There is a restaurant that has some great reviews which we are yet to sample which opens early summer. Here you can sit out and enjoy a meal overlooking all over this magnificent nature reserve. So if you find yourself close to Vendoire be sure to visit this hidden gem, but don’t tell anybody else as it’s our secret.