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7 February 2024

Chateau Belgrave: ‘exemplary landscaping for biodiversity’ according to the Bird Protection League (LPO)

Agneau Belgrave

In 2023 Chateau Belgrave joined forces with the Bird Protection League (LPO), to meet a threefold objective:

  • To undertake a survey of species present on the estate
  • To map different areas on the estate according to their biodiversity potential
  • To introduce best practices to promote a balanced biodiversity across the estate, and validate those already in place

A total of 54 species of birds were counted, in addition to 33 types of butterflies, 9 types of dragonflies, 7 species of amphibians and 10 bat species (cf. list below).

I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with such an enthusiastic and dedicated team as the Bird Protection League; their feedback was a great inspiration.

Bertrand Delavelle
Bertrand Delavelle

Top line results of the 12-month study were presented just a few days ago and are very encouraging. According to Yohan Charbonnier, who was in charge of the project at the LPO (see photo), Chateau Belgrave has ‘exemplary landscaping to promote biodiversity, which will be used to train viticulturalists and students alike.”

And since there is always room for improvement, Bertrand Delavelle (estate manager – see photo on right), his teams and the LPO, have plenty of ideas to take even further strides in creating a healthy, sustainable relationship with our ecosystem.


LPO restitution

Just some of the species observed on the estate are listed below:

Chateau Belgrave: ‘exemplary landscaping for biodiversity’ according to the Bird Protection League (LPO) - Dourthe

54 bird species

Of which 17 protected species, including: - European kingfisher - Common linnet - House martin - Greenfinch - European turtle dove - Black-crowned night heron - Common kestrel - Lesser spotted woodpecker Photo opposite by Andy Chilton
Including 2 protected species: - Mazarine blue - Black veined white And others, including: - Common blue - Clouded yellow - Meadow brown - Small copper - Brown argus
Including 1 protected species: - l'Agrion de Mercure And others including: - Scarlet dragonfly - Keeled skimmer - Azure damselfly
Including 3 protected species: - Stripeless tree frog - Agile frog - Natterjack And also: - Fire salamander - Palmate newt - Marsh frog - Edible frog
Including 7 protected species: - Western barbastelle - Serotine bat - Lesser noctule - Noctule bat - Common pipistrelle - Greater horseshoe bat - Lesser horseshoe bat
A few easy tips everyone can do to boost ecosystems:
  • Maintain grass cover
    • Refrain from cutting grass too short to avoid destroying eggs and/or insect food reserves
    • Promote cover planting in ditches, meadows, corners and between vine rows
    • Allow wild plants to thrive, particularly local species
  • Plant wild flower meadows using native species « végétal local ».

  • Leave any hollow or dead trees on the estate, and plant individual trees
  • Provide a range of nesting sites and boxes for birds in suitable spots. Check out these top tips from the bird protection league
  • When food is scarce, help boost food sources by planting hedgerows, namely native species, or rewilding

We are already planning to step up initiatives that are proving effective here on the estate – piles of rotting matter, hedging, wildflower meadows and nesting areas – and identifying new dedicated corners and areas of the estate where diversity can thrive.

Bertrand Delavelle

Finally, here at Chateau Belgrave we are proud to have been awarded “Des terres et des ailes” recognition, a biodiversity initiative launched by the LPO, though there is still some way to go. It’s a completely new starting point, with a whole host of information to work with. Frédéric Bonnaffous, Director of Vins Dourthe insists: “At Dourthe, we have been introducing steps to protect biodiversity on our estates for more than a decade,” and since each estate is unique, our work with the LPO is far from complete; after Château La Garde and Château Belgrave, next stop Château Le Boscq.


For more information: read our House commitments

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