The old Orival quarries – Natural Regional reserve

Patrimoine naturel,


This 12-hectare site includes a former quarry where the Bathonian limestone used since the 10th century was once extracted. Located on the banks of the River Seulles, the site is of particular botanical interest, thanks to its many calcicole plants.
Its xerophyte soil is home to Lower Normandy’s most impressive autumn gentian plantations, along with a fine example of round-headed rampion. Amidst the ash and sugar bushes of the ravine forest, exceptional for this region, the service tree of Fontainebleau, a nationally protected species, thrives. The shrub area is dominated by junipers and shrubs, whereas the pioneer plant zone is home to bryophytes.
On site, two former lime kilns hollowed out of the rock of a former working face now provide a shelter for hibernating bats.
Among the insects that occupy the site, the chalkhill blue butterfly, the banded demoiselle damselfly, the short-tailed grasshopper and the broad-bodied chaser are worthy of note.