Situated at the heart of the Bassée, a significant heritage area, the Bazoches-les-Bray quarry has been excavated for its alluvial sand and gravel from the Seine since the 1980s. The materials are transported by conveyor belts to the processing facility located 3 km away. From there, 70% of the finished products are dispatched by ship to the Parisian region via the Seine.
In 2004, the administrative authorisation, which covers a total surface area of 220 ha, was renewed for a period of 16 years.
The site has benefited from various initiatives aimed at preserving and recreating habitats that promote biodiversity and accommodate the local ecological wealth as acknowledged by the various protection zones: Natura 2000, ZNIEFF, Biotope protection decrees, etc.
The rehabilitated areas consist of a mosaic of ecological environments: meso-hygrophilic prairies, reed beds, wooded areas, islets, ponds, etc. The restoration of these diversified habitats has paved the way for the recolonisation by numerous animal and plant species of heritage interest, consistent with the preserved areas at the very heart of the quarry.
The rehabilitated areas consist of a mosaic of ecological environments: meso-hygrophilic prairies, reed beds, wooded areas, islets, ponds, etc. The restoration of these diversified habitats has paved the way for the recolonisation of numerous animal and plant species of heritage interest, consistent with the preserved areas at the very heart of the quarry.
Among the most emblematic species, we can include:
- Flora: Sanguisorbe officinale, Galium parisiense, Euphorbia palustris, Utricularia australis
- Migratory birds: Wood sandpiper, Eurasian penduline tit, little egret
- Nesting birds: Little ringed plover, red-crested pochard, sedge warbler, bluethroat
- Odonata: Aeshna isoceles, small red damselfly
- Orthoptera: Large march grasshopper, European mole cricket
- Butterflies: Reverdin's blue, short-tailed blue
Ongoing nature projects
There are several biodiversity programmes on site:
Ecological engineering works
For over 15 years, the restoration of different habitats has given rise to experiments in ecological engineering, in cooperation with the scientific industry.
- The redevelopment of a valley with peat materials over 1.5 km;
- Creation of wetlands (reed beds, rush beds, sedges, etc.) by transplanting helophytes from areas previously rehabilitated and planting seeds collected on site;
- Reconstitution of wetland prairies by spreading cut hay over a prairie in the national natural reserve located nearby;
- Cultivation and plantation of the young local ecotype Fraxinus angustifolia;
- Replenishment of wooded areas and hedges by transplanting shrubs and young trees.
Voluntary monitoring of the biodiversity since 2011 via the ROSELIERE programme
- The ROSELIERE programme is a standardised scientific tool monitoring the biodiversity, applicable to quarries. It was initiated and has been developed since 2006 by the ANVL association. It is supported by the syndicate of gravel producers, with scientific backing from the National Natural History Museum. It allows biodiversity trends to be measured over 11 taxa.
- The site has also been made available for various research programmes: inventory of fish production by hydrosphere and bird ringing by the National Natural History Museum.
Management by grazing
Since 2012, the prairies have benefited from maintenance by grazing a herd of sheep under the supervision of a shepherd. This type of management has succeeded in reviving an activity long since forgotten in the Bassée and provided a site management in line with the ecological challenges.