Located in the commune of Brennilis, the Venec Nature Reserve is made up of raised peat bogs, an area of acid swamp, moors and wet meadow lands.
A unique heritage
Le Venec is the last remaining raised peat bog in Brittany which is still active. High up on the five metres of peat which has accumulated over 5,000 years, the area shelters a number of plant species typically found in peat bogs, among them, the round-leafed sundew, lycopode inondé, a very rare tiny fern only found in peat bogs, the rare cotton grass eriophorum vaginatum and its sister plant with its narrow leaves, utricularia minor, gentiana pneumoanthe, Pylaie peat moss and the unique Austin peat moss.
Its small lakes are the realm of dragonflies, collared slow worms, amphibious field mice and water voles. The hobby falcon and reed buzzard regularly fly over the nature reserve, seeking out sustenance, but the most common birds are, without doubt, the meadow pipits and whinchats.
An active non-profit organisation
To maintain the plots of land around the site, the non-profit organisation, Bretagne Vivante, cuts back the grass on the moors and rough grassland, clears the wasteland which changes the resinous woodland into moorland. In a more limited way, the organisation clears up the vegetation so that the rarer species of plant do not have to compete with the more dominant species. It is gardening, if you like, but it is the only way to preserve increasingly rare plant species.
A stone’s throw away from le Venec, a river shelters a dozen or so colonies of beavers who thrive in the midst of a bevy of otters, the floating small white flower, luronium natens, and fresh water pearl mussels. Along with other animals and living organisms, Bretagne Vivante keeps a check on the beaver population and intervenes when it can, when mean spirits complain about the flooding caused by the dams.
During the summer, La Maison de la Réserve Naturelle, the nature reserve centre, welcomes visitors to the village centre for guided tours and the exhibition given over to the beaver and the peat bogs. The staff will be only too happy to give you all the information you need on Bretagne Vivante’s nature visits in the Monts d’Arrée. Don’t forget your wellies!
If you have never had the chance to join in our activities, you can find out all about the site thanks to a downloadable booklet.