Transport by horse-drawn vehicles inside Arche de la Nature, a periurban park
Le Mans Métropole - ARCHE DE LA NATURE
Region & country
L’Arche de la Nature is a 500 ha Periurban park close to the city of Le Mans, crossed by 2 roads and with 6 parking lots around its edges. Traffic inside the site is not allowed for motor vehicles. The site is organized around 3 themed houses; 2 are accessible directly from public transport or by car, the third requires a walking time of around 20 minutes.
To facilitate this 3rd pole of environmental education, we set up a horse-drawn vehicle.
Le Mans Métropole
Le Mans Métropole
Background of the project
The children had to walk 20 minutes to come to the farm or the garden for entertainment. This could put off certain groups.
To facilitate travel by providing a vehicle
Solution and actions taken
We have provided carriage shuttles pulled by 2 horses. We have favoured a local breed of draft horses, like all of the rest of animal breeds on the farm.
The vehicles are adapted to receive an entire class in one go and are equipped to carry wheelchairs.
– Purchase of 2 vehicles
– Development of a Percheron herd
– Recruitment of drivers of harnessed vehicles
– Security training
Other institutions or parties involved
For horses, partnership with the Percheron Horse Syndicate
The 2 carriages rotate every day during the school period, with 2 return trips per day and per carriage. This transport is also part of the animation, it is a first contact with nature and the animal world.
Out of school period, the carriages also have a great success and are much appreciated.
This service has a cost, which is not passed on to the school groups. Like the animations, which are free for the school structures of the territory of the agglomeration. It is a strong political choice, to promote access to the area and therefore the link between urban children and nature.
When this horse powered carriage is used outside school periods, we have proposed that the general public pay for the sleigh ride
In hot weather, animal work becomes frowned upon by part of the public. We are thinking of establishing a temperature threshold beyond which the service would not operate, specially also because the public is less numerous in hottest days.
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