On the banks of the Cher, Noirlac Abbey watches over this bocage farmland, tilled by the Cistercian monks from the 12th century onwards.
Still used as pastureland, this area has retained its original landscape of meadows surrounded by hedges, maintained by farmers.

A protected and valued Sensitive Natural Site

Noisy ponds where crested newts paddle, century-old oaks which are the only food of the great capricorn beetles, and wet meadows, create a rare bocage ensemble, endowed with an alluvial forest, becoming increasingly rare in France.
The rise and fall of the Cher’s water levels shapes the landscape and provides a suitable habitat for 427 listed species, including 260 plants and 50 birds. The European bee-eater, the bank swallow, and the red-backed shrike, three protected species, nest between the cliffs and the sandbanks.
This ecosystem was severely disrupted by sand extractions, halted in 1987, and the invasion of exogenous plants (from outside the ecosystem) such as Japanese knotweed, common ragweed, and locusts.
Today, the Cher Departmental Council is dedicated to protecting, enhancing and opening this natural jewel up to visitors.
To this end, the abbey has a facilitator who, from April to October, offers tours and events to discover this environment.

Find out more on the dedicated page