The Chateau de Ré on the banks of the Aigronne.
Purple Toothwort on the banks of the Aigronne.Broomrapes Orobanche spp. It is also reminiscent of the Violet Limodore Limodorus abortivum, an almost chlorophyll free purple orchid which uses its association with a root parasitising fungus to live off the surrounding trees.
There are apparently a number of colonies of both Fritillaries and Purple Toothwort in this section of the Aigronne Valley, between Le Petit Pressigny and Le Grand Pressigny. At the moment there is quite a bit of activity along the river as it is the focus of a 'makeover' designed to improve water quality and biodiversity. Our friends Tim and Pauline, who live right in the middle of the valley have expressed some concerns that the work is too geared towards creating the ideal trout fishing river, possibly at the expense of other species and interests. You can read their first hand observations of the project and of some equally worrying modern farming practices on their blog Aigronne Valley Wildlife.
I, too, wonder what the effect of removing the poplar plantations will be on the colonies of Fritillaries and Toothwort, since both are often associated with the poplars. Will they survive the disturbance?
Anyone looking for some live Australian Rock and Roll should tune in to
PS - Rocket to Nowhere (cool name) didn't win, but they sounded good.