Integrating biodiversity into an intermodal transport hub project thanks to Ecodesign

LOGIPARC is a logistics hub (road/ rail) covering 184 hectares used mainly for industrial activities, logistics and the service sector located in the Allier Department (Center of France).  The environmental assessment has identified that the area was rich with respect to its natural heritage (flora and fauna).  Due to the uniqueness of the project, the development was undertaken while taking into account economic performance as well as ensuring the sustainability of natural habitats with a rich biodiversity. These habitats have been preserved thanks to eco-design concepts implemented at the very early stage of the project. At a local level, the project generated value thanks to the development of economic activity and the natural capital that was preserved or redeveloped on-site.

The ecological improvements were conceived in such a way as to conserve and improve the existing ecological connectivity.  These environmental management prescriptions were monitored during the construction phase and included:    

  • The conservation of two wildlife corridors covering one quarter of the total site area, within which the European pond turtle is present (maintained ecological pathways with culverts).
  • Creation of a network of 4600 meters of viable hedges which replaced 3800 meters destroyed:  a net gain.
  • Re-creation of a 2ha wet-grassland floodplain on a receptor site of “improved grassland” made use of an existing water reservoir off site and contributed to the compensatory measures required by the regulations.
  • Re-grading the underwater profile of an existing pond.  The short-time operation resulted in a variety of profiles, different bank exposures and was left to recolonize naturally by existing plants.
  • Creation of a network of 7 small ponds.  The design was such that they maximised their ecological capacity by having different depths, profiles and exposures.  The ponds also provided a role for the European pond turtle, by being a habitat suitable for juvenile hatchlings before they reach the pond.
  • Creation of 5 hibernacula.
  • Creation of 3 artificial egg-laying sites for the European pond turtle.

The design, management and efficiency of the mitigation measures were followed up by a series of inventories. In particular the monitoring of turtles, that were tracked with a GPS device (a technique developed by Egis).

At a local scale, wetlands, hedges and meadows contributed towards the maintenance of the wildlife connectivity and conservation of biodiversity. 

In relation with these eco-engineering measures, an awareness campaign was prepared for the personnel of the local companies through an educational tour as well as a management plan to ensure the sustainability of the measures that have been put in place.

Logistics hub; ecological connectivity; eco-design; ecological management; European pond turtle