What were all these tractors doing in Saint-Malo this afternoon?

What were all these tractors doing in Saint-Malo this afternoon?
What were all these tractors doing in Saint-Malo this afternoon?

By

Bernadette Ramel

Published on

May 27, 2024 at 6:54 p.m.

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The last time we saw tractors in Saint-Malo was on 1er last February, in full agricultural anger. There were a dozen of them, this Monday, May 27, 2024, arriving from Saint-Père-Marc-en-Poulet by the 4-lane highway and stationed in front of the Saint-Malo sub-prefecture for a good part of the afternoon.

The reason ? A conflict with the Ille-et-Vilaine Hunters’ Federation about water management in the black marsh of Saint-Coulban, a wetland of approximately 500 hectares spread over six municipalities.

Meadows still drowned at the end of May

The dispute had already been the subject of a meeting last week at the sub-prefecture. It concerns around fifteen farmersmainly dairy farmers, part of whose meadows are still flooded at the end of May.

“There, I have 5 hectares which should be pastureable and are not,” complains Guillaume Mousson, based in Miniac-Morvan. For him, the persistent rains didn’t help, but it was not the main cause. Hervé Martin, based in Miniac-Morvan since 1987, confirms. It has 25 hectares of meadows in the Saint-Coulban marsh.

It varies greatly from one year to the next, but normally we can send the cows out in the spring without damaging the pastures.

Hervé Martin, dairy farmer in the marsh

For the farmers concerned, the solution would be within reach: the marsh outlet valve, located on Saint-Guinoux, must be opened wide in order to evacuate more water. This should have been done, according to them, from 1er April, in accordance with an agreement which binds the Hunting Federation, owner of the Saint-Coulban marshes, and the union of dikes and marshes of Dol.

The situation has become tense

As the weeks passed, the situation became tense. And Hervé Martin, for example, even comes to think that “they want to put us off exploiting these lands and put us out.” “Protecting migratory birds, yes, it’s important. But it has to be managed intelligently. »

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For show their determination, it is therefore with tractors that the operators, supported by the FDSEA of Ille-et-Vilaine, arrived in Saint-Malo on Monday May 27. Some of them sat around the table sub-prefect Philippe Brugnotwhere all parties were present, including the Hunting Federation.

From the sometimes heated discussion, the breeders came away satisfied: Tuesday May 28, the two side doors of the Saint-Guinoux winnowing system will be open. And the different parties will come and see the effects within a few days.

At the end of the meeting, the farmers were satisfied with having obtained that the Saint-Guinoux sluice gate was completely open to let the water flow. ©Le Pays Malouin / BR

Soon a prefectural decree

For Charles Tézé, president of the Dykes and Marais union, and Christophe Fambon, mayor of Roz-sur-Couesnon and president of the Coastal Basins union of the Dol region, the challenge is to calm the situation over time. Hence the work to be carried out, with State services, to build the decree which will regulate the water level of the marshes and the application of which will be the responsibility of the water police.

In the meantime, Yannick Frain, FDSEA representative of the canton of Dol – Pleine-Fougères, praised the “listening and action of the sub-prefect” in this matter.

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