A new forest plot, located in the Richebourg Round, north of the Forest, is set to become the new showcase for the forestry of old settlements: it has been named “Futaie Colbert II”.
The beautiful Futaie Colbert II will gradually succeed the Futaie Colbert, as a witness to history.
The Futaie Colbert is slowly extinguished, naturally… It is now a biological reserve.
The large trees of the Futaie Colbert II, among the most beautiful in Tronçais, will be preserved until an advanced age and improvements have been made to welcome the public. Thus, in 2016, in the heart of this forest a large oak was classified: the Oak François Péron named after the naturalist-explorer, born in Cérilly.
The Colbert II futaie is made up of trees more than 200 years old. Their slender trunks are due to the care of generations of foresters. 7 playful workshops lead walkers to discover this history that goes through the centuries. The trail also explains the close link between Tronçais and the wine world through oak barrels. Two workshops were carried out with the help of two prestigious representatives of this sector: the Taransaud cooperage, a French family cooperage located in Charente and Burgundy, whose French oak barrels are sold all over the world; Château Pichon Baron, one of Bordeaux’s historic vineyards (second Grand Cru Classé in 1855). This project was financed by the community of municipalities in the Land of Tronçais and the companies Taransaud and Château Pichon Barron, with the support of the engineering of the National Forestry Office.
The most beautiful oak forest in Europe has an area of 10594 hectares, making it the eleventh largest in the French state forests.
Formerly owned by the Dukes of Bourbon, it was confiscated and handed over to the crown by Francis I in 1528. Since then, it has been owned by the state.
The main species are oak (70%) and beech (20%). But the flora is varied and some years mushrooms abound.
The forest of Tronçais is full of people, where deer brace in autumn, hunted in winter, where wild boars and deer, raptors and rare butterflies are still found, where we discover gigantic listed oaks and where the legendary fountains contain an unspeakable charm.
A hiking trail allows you to go around it all and the naturalist will appreciate the diversity of the birds encountered. The old Futaie offers the diversity of peaks,, pigeons while in spring and summer the nearby reedter comes alive with the singing of the redheads. Hot grebes, mallard ducks, water hens and scarves can be seen on the water. The hawk, the variable nozzle and the black kite often fly over the pond.
Water activities such as swimming, sailing or pedaloing are also practiced on the Etang de Saint-Bonnet during the summer.
Started in 1806, the pond is considered finished, with pavement and weir, on August 18, 1817.
Its design is by the master of the Forges Nicolas Rambourg. The pond is located at the junction of 5 streams, it allows to provide the necessary power of the Forges de Tronçais.
The dam is composed of 4 aqueducts built of keystone, on which rest 4 valves, once equipped with ladders allowing them to maneuver by lever. Today this procedure is facilitated by housewarming. The Saloup Pond Dam is almost 14 metres high and 104 metres wide. A famous legend also feeds the site of Saloup (see legendary Of the Land of The Tronçais with the OT)
In the quarry, the limestone soil, dotted with small fossil shells, favours a particular flora. In the spring, 8 species of orchids were recorded including goat, burnt, purple and man-hung orchids and bee, bumblebee and spider ophrys. Other remarkable plants include cardoncelle, field carline, pimprenelle or nuular helianthema.
The Ghoul Pond, especially in remote areas near the stadium, allows bird-watching throughout the year. In the spring, the ash heron, the posh and cassanish grebes, the scarf, the reed sparrow, the redhead, the frightened redhead breed there and many species come to feed there. In winter, surface ducks and divers, cormorants, large egrets, stay more or less long depending on the harsh temperatures.
How do I get there?
Water, along with ore and wood, is the essential element for the operation of the forges. Those of Saint-Bonnet used the driving force of 4 ponds Saint-Bonnet, Saloup, Morat and Tronçais.
The first pond created by Nicolas Rambourg was that of Tronçais barely a year after the opening of the Forges, then came Saint-Bonnet, Saloup and Morat.
Today, the pond of Saint-Bonnet is a place of relaxation and swimming for the summer population while that of Tronçais is reserved for fishing.
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This natural and historical space was born from the reformation of Colbert, Minister of Louis XIV, and his desire to give a new lease of life to the Tronçais forest attached to the royal estate in 1527.
Thus, in 1670, Colbert planted 1072 bollards to delineate the futaie and begin its modern treatment, namely to keep 20 oaks at the hectaire at 250 years of age. Today, the most remarkable three-hundred-year-long trees in this forest are classified.
Of these 1072 bollards, 200 still remain around the forest.
Access: From Saint-Bonnet-Tronçais, from the D39, before arriving in the centre-town, take the right-hand drive leading to the Rond du Vieux Morat.
In the Forest of Tronçais, on the road to Cérilly, the walker can also admire the Oak Square, a remarkable tree with a total height of 26 meters that has a square trunk about 4 meters high.
Unique in its kind, the Oak Square is a three-hundred-year-old.
It covers 78 hectares. Created from 1842 to 1852 on the “La Marmande” river, it was built to serve as a huge reservoir for the Berry Canal.
To strengthen this water supply, a small-scale canal, called “the Rigole”, was built to connect it to the Goule Pond (Valigny commune) which had the same purpose.
Pirot is currently assigned to fishing.
It has, with the streams that feed it, a certain floristic and faunal interest.