An unforgettable ride! Imagine a 10km band of lush greenery dotted with woodland and lakes, and full of stag, roe deer, pheasants and a variety of birds great and small. It’s simple enough: just mount a horse and follow Nicolas, our qualified instructor.
Bruno Cheuvreux takes us on a sneak preview of ’the estate owner’s trail’.
It all begins on a little woodland path lined with oaks, some of which stand in the water. A couple of ducks waddle around in an atmosphere reminiscent of a Japanese garden. Further on, amid interlaced oaks and pines, we enter deep into stag territory. On our arrival in the enclosure, the deer flee while the male stands stock still for a moment or two before also disappearing, as if in a dream. Our horses – the main witnesses of the scene – do not even flinch, perhaps out of animal solidarity maybe?
Ten metres above our heads, a black kite with a triangular tail hovers over the trees, then swoops down to seize its tiny prey. A few harsh little cries ensue, then silence… This is nature at work!
In the woods there are a hundred or so enclosures with crossroads dotted around the 1,200 hectares of the property. Each of them has a name, by turns historic, funny or even lewd. The ’Caresses’ enclosure, for example, is right next to the ’Dames’ (‘ladies’) enclosure, while further on is the ’Préliminaires’ (‘foreplay’) enclosure. It’s all very promising! No surprise, therefore, that at summer’s end, the stag bells in the enclosure is called the ‘Champ d’Amour’ (‘field of love’)! And let’s not forget the one called ’105 animals’. Bruno and his friends counted them all. But we’ll say no more! It’s your job to discover the others, and it’s much easier to approach them on horseback.
The estate owner loves to mix up the colours in the forest. He has planted the fruit trees among the oaks, and birches in front of pines. And this free-spirited and mischievous forester certainly knows how to put together a team: René Courrau manages the forest, while Didier Misler is the landscape gardener. Charly and Dominique create appealing, winding path through the estate. The two accomplices know every last animal, fish, tree and flower in the forest. If during your ride you see them planting the white clover the stags love so much, talk to them. Perhaps they’ll share a few of their secrets with you. You’ll soon see how this team pulls out all the stops to improve the organic diversity of the place and has great fun in the process.