A former professor from Bagnolais presents his collection on the evolution of the flora in the Rhone Gard over the past 25 years

A former professor from Bagnolais presents his collection on the evolution of the flora in the Rhone Gard over the past 25 years
A former professor from Bagnolais presents his collection on the evolution of the flora in the Rhone Gard over the past 25 years

Marc Mayen, former professor of botany, presents in a handwritten book all the species records carried out in different places in the Gard Rhone in the first quarter of the 21st century.

“I made this book out of my love of plants.” In a handwritten collection of around a hundred pages, Marc Mayen lists the species surveys carried out with his students during his botany classes, from 1995 to 2021. “I was asked at the time by Gérard Revol (PS mayor of Bagnols from 1995 to 2001 and deputy from 1997 to 2002, Editor’s note) to become a botany professor on the reflection and training committee for retirees of the Gard (Cadref), indicates the Bagnolais, now 87 years old. The adventure then lasted a quarter of a century. Once a week, he taught retirees in a room at the Mallet Hotel. “There were around thirty of them, it was just fun! We went out to collect plants. We returned to study the families, living conditions and characteristics of five species collected.”

In his book “The flora of the Rhone Gard in the first quarter of the 21ste century”, it presents the characteristics of each plant collected in eighteen different places. A map listing the sectors has been added to the book. How many species does he know? “I couldn’t say but a lot.” In Bagnols, there is data recorded on the road and the submersible bridge of Carmignan, the path of Bourdilhan, the Berret area, the path of Pont-du-diable hill of Ancyse and the edge of Cèze to the north of the Hamelines. Surveys were also carried out in other municipalities in the Rhone Gard. For some places, there are several data collected in different years. “These readings are of great interest to people interested in the environment. They can be signs of climate change in our region by comparing them to readings taken in the future”writes the author in his introduction.

Endangered species

Some archive photos from the releases illustrate the first pages of the book that he started writing in September 2021. A year later, the collection was already finished. “After this botanical diversity observed in the Bagnols-sur-Cèze region, changes in the local flora can already be observedexplains the retiree. In these changes, climate change plays a big role.” For example, according to him, global warming would be responsible for the presence of pampas lily of the valley and groundsel climbing along the edge of the underpass south of Bagnols station. He also noted that since 2010, the wall gecko is more present than before in Bagnols. Conversely, some species are endangered because “they are no longer cultivated by humans”. This is the case for dyers’ madder, previously used for dyes or paint. “He We must not also neglect the intervention of human activity.”

“A talented teacher”

With his book, Marc Mayen put an end to his activity. He hopes that his former students will be interested in obtaining it. “It is thanks to them that I was able to write this study and turn it into a book. I will be happy to give them a copy.”, confides the Bagnolais who still exchanges letters with some of them. They are all stored in a filing cabinet. “Thank you for your kindness and your skills” can we read or “a talented teacher”.

Those interested in purchasing the book can contact Marc Mayen on 04 66 89 55 48.

A life dedicated to teaching

Marc Mayen was a life and earth sciences teacher at the Gérard-Philipe high school (at the time this establishment was the only high school in Bagnols) from 1963 to 1998. He spent his entire career there after obtaining a diploma in phytosociology. Many former students still write to him. “I loved teaching and my students loved me.” He notably had as students the current principal of the Albert-Einstein high school, Thierry Delaigue and the president of the Gard Rhone agglomeration, Jean-Christian Rey.

Upon his retirement, Marc Mayen became departmental delegate for National Education (DDEN) for the Bagnols constituency. He plays, on a voluntary basis, a mediation role in public schools and ensures in particular the comfort of students and teachers. Last December, the office of the Gard DDEN union rewarded him for his commitment by offering him a medal.

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