Swear. In the heart of the Combe dAin, happiness lies in the ponds


Its a beautiful story that brings the worlds of agriculture, hunting, and naturalists together. “Most of the ponds are on plots that belong to a hunter,” explains Vincent Dams, project manager at Jura nature environnement (JNE). The original idea came from Alexis Leclerc, farmer. “On Sunday mornings, we like to catch small toads with my daughter. But the decades go by. And species are disappearing. I didnt want my daughter to see that. I wanted to do something concrete for the environment. Dont just sign petitions on the internet. ''

Relieve nature

This idea has been going through his head for several years. “In 2015 I had already created three ponds. I knew perfectly the countries I was exploiting and where the strategic places were. When you see the climatic upheavals, the forests that are deteriorating, the nature that suffers a little more each year in the summer, I told myself that we really had to act. Vincent Dams, who knows the farmer, takes up the idea in 2020 and creates a file to receive grants from two foundations: Léa Nature and Terre de Liens. 'Digging a network of ponds means reviving life all around,' explains the specialist, who speaks of birds, amphibians, dragonflies ...

Its kind for every pond

The website is run by Laurent Tresy, storyteller and nature animator, who manages the excavator. 'My job before was public work,' he explains. “I dig ponds all over the Jura. On this project we dug up twenty-six different ones: small, large, deep gaujes for wild boar ... We wont find the same species from one pond to another. There are beautiful water reserves in some places that we dug deep for the drought. I was very moved the day I saw some of them in the water. ''

The storyteller hopes to cross the Vouivre around one of these water points. This mythological creature that haunted the Jura and particularly inspired the writer Marcel Aymé. On her forehead, she wears a huge, priceless gemstone. Legend has it that she would drop it on the shore before swimming. And that it would give extraordinary power to anyone who grasped it.

'Mobilize other farmers'

Alexis Leclerc hopes to demonstrate through this campaign that anything is possible. 'You can easily place ponds in places that have little agricultural interest,' he explains. As a farmer, you dont have to use the smallest cm². Digging ponds can add a lot to the natural environment without keeping the farmer from working. We hope to motivate other farmers through this campaign. Draining if its too wet or watering if its not enough isnt necessarily good for nature. ''

A joint orchard project

A young couple of gardeners who had been installed for two years joined the process. 'The city has entrusted us with 7 hectares of wasteland that should remain a nature reserve,' explain Juliette Pabst and Benoit Moncelon. “We started from this old site that had ruts to dig ponds,” explains Laurent Tresy. 'We have also found old apple trees that we will graft,' said the gardeners, who work the land with a horse. 'The idea is to create a common orchard in this place and let the residents participate,' they conclude. But there is still a lot to be done.