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La Reole, a town of art and history, is placing an emphasis on the environment and saving water

 

La Réole is a fortified town with an old priory, situated 62 km south-east of Bordeaux in the east of the Gironde department, on the banks of the River Garonne.The city is basically located on the right bank of the Garonne (north). A city founded in 977, La Réole has a rich and diverse history and culture. Like most of the South-west of France, it remained apart from the industrial revolution. Furthermore, as happened in the majority of the rural cantons of Aquitaine, the demographic growth of the region’s administrative centre was not enough to balance out the exodus from the neighbouring villages. The net result of this situation was a progressive fall in its economic and political influence, to the advantage of the regional capital. Nevertheless, the infrastructures were modernised and, in spite of the removal of the (status of) sub-prefecture in 1926, the 20th Century did not deprive La Réole of its future assets, as far as green spaces are concerned.

La Réole’s heritage

 

The Town has a particularly rich historical heritage:

- 9 listed historic monuments, 

- 1 site of outstanding natural beauty,

- 1 old town complex,

- 7 archeologically sensitive areas,

- 4 listed woodland areas.

Cultural and leisure facilities:

- 1 leisure centre,

- 1 youth information bureau,

- 1 tourist office,

- 1 conference hall,

- 1 “Amicale Laïque” (Friends’ Society) hall, old town hall: cultural exhibition centre,

- 1 municipal camp site.

Sports facilities: 4 stadiums, 1 swimming pool, 1 flying club, 1 municipal gymnasium, 2 hiking trails, 1 Levite sports centre, 1 health and fitness course, 1 mountain biking trail.

 

The implementation of a differentiated management plan

 

The heart of the town centre gets regular maintenance. On the other hand, it has been?decided?to adjust the cutting heights of the grass on the lawns in the centre of the town. The green areas on the outskirts are mown less frequently, every second or third week depending on the weather, and, in summer, some parts of housing develop­ment areas are set aside with a wild flower mix (example: the Mirail sud housing project).

 

The natural spaces

 

The town’s Green Space department maintains the tree heritage of the com­mune. In this respect, all park workers have recei­ved training for tree pruning, identifying di­seases, etc.

In autumn 2011, the local authority will implement a customised?monitoring schedule for each tree in the town. This programme will start off with a complete diagnosis of its tree heritage, followed up with a tree by tree mana­gement scheme.

 

The listed woodland areas

 

There are four listed woodland areas within the boundaries of the commune, which are protected under the Town Planning Code; these are: the park of the Château du Luc, the park of the Château des Quatre Sos, the park of the villa Cante l’Aouset, the area located to the north of the RD 1113.

 

Natura 2000 Classification - ZNIEFF Classification

 

(Natural Zones of Eco­logical Interest for Flora and Fauna): what mea­sures have been adopted in these zones, types of treatment. The territory of La Réole includes a type 1 ZNIEFF listing designated “limestone slopes of La Réole”. It is situated to the east of La Réole. It has a total area of 412 hectares. It is mainly characterised by areas of forest and uncultivated land, with drought resis­tant vegetation, including some local rare species. These areas receive no specific treatment from the local authority services. The listed areas belong to private owners.

 

Measures taken to encourage biodiversity

 

The town is trying to create a large area along the fitness trail that will be late mown, in order to encourage biodiversity. This area, which is very popular with the people of La Réole, has been an important source of communication and infor­mation, explaining the challenges of biodiversity to the general public.

 

Water Management

Actions taken to optimise reductions in consumption.

Irrigation of the flower beds and hanging plants

Irrigation sensors have been installed for the flowerbeds and borders, with a computerised irrigation management system operated by the technical services department. The TBOS control module, linked to a TBOS pulse solenoid adapter, is particularly suitable for the automation of sites that have no electricity supply. As far as the green spaces are concerned, there are a number of different fields of application: roundabouts, indivi­dual stands for plants or flowers, highway or motorway landscaping, micro-irrigation, greenhouses… it allows for the closing and opening of the valves fitted with TBOS pulse solenoids (supplier Irrigaronne - Marmande 47, the parks depart­ment has installed the full system, and we receive training on getting started and the use of the software).

 

The irrigation system

 

The system irrigates the flowerbeds at the foot of the château and in rue Jacques Terrible and the two sports stadiums. The operation consisted of creating a new water supply network from the irrigation system that begins at the outlet of the pumping station of the Loubens Irrigation Syndicate (ASAH) in the La Réole area. Thus, it will no longer be necessary to use the town’s mains drinking water supply network. Moreover the new network will allow for the fire protection capacity to be strengthe­ned over the entire area. We have laid 2.6 km  of the main network. The network is maintained regularly (checking and cleaning filters in the stabiliser unit). Staff training took place as the site was being set up, given that the technical services department actual­ly participated in the construction and implementation of the network. There has been no major incident to date.

 

Other types of irrigation and cleaning the public road network

Watering the hanging plants from a tanker. It is refilled via a valve on the irrigation network. The irrigation of the plants in the municipality’s greenhouse is carried out with the use of rainwater collection systems. A diagnostic audit for saving water on all the municipal buildings is planned for Autumn 2011. The town of La Réole uses three machines for the daily cleaning of the public roads. The water used comes from the irrigation system of the Garonne: thus 15 m3 per day are saved. Each year, we save about 5,000 m3 per year and per stadium. Two stadiums have now been linked up to the system since 2007, i.e. over 4 irrigation systems this represents a saving of around 40,000 m3 for the stadiums alone. We have two other stadiums, which are not yet linked up to the irrigation system, because, at the highest point of the town, we are working on other systems in order to be able to irrigate (rain­water recovered from the roofs of the sports complex and grand­stands, with an additional contribution from drainage water).