Monday, 28 October 2013

29th International Ornithological Film Festival Ménigoute

This week it's  the 29th International Ornithological Film Festival at Ménigoute, Deux-Sevres, Poitou-Charentes and I'm really looking forward to spending some time there on Thursday.

Festival runs from 29th October until 30th November and I should say right from the start it's a lot more than films and however good the films may be it's the other things that interest me, especially spending a bit of time looking, (drooling), at all the optical kit, cameras, field glasses and scopes I can't afford. Not that I can't get by with what I've got but it's like everything else, it would always be nice to have better things and there really are some incredible optics available these days.  Hmmm, best stop dreaming.

I must mention before anything else that the first thing to grab my attention was this stunning old bee "hive" apparently about 150 years of age. I just love this type of thing however impractical it may have been compared to current bee hives. Sadly not for sale.

Inside the large exhibition buildings there were all the stands with goods and services for sale, optical goods as mentioned, seeds for old varieties of vegetables and plants from Association Kokopelli, regional products, producers of organic wines, producers of organic fruits and juices, honey and bee products, cheeses, bee-keeping associations, wildlife tour organisers, cane work, conservation and planting of trees and hedgerows with Prom'Haies, all manner of wildlife and nature books, DVD's and other publications. 

As to be expected numerous Associations, Organisations and other structures connected with wildlife / environment protection and management including the State bodies such as the ONCFS , the Conseil Regional Poitou-Charentes and the Conseil Général des Deux-Sevres were represented. 

The two main Associations for Deux-Sevres had large stands as one would expect. For birds Groupe Ornithologique des Deux-Sevres, (or GODS as it is known), and for everything else Deux-Sevres Nature Environnement.

For the Region of Poitou-Charentes there was Société Française d'Orchidophile Poitou-Charentes for Orchids, the Conservatoire d'Espaces Naturels de Poitou-Charentes and Poitou-Charentes Nature. To be truthful it's all a bit too complicated to explain here but I will put links at the bottom of this post.

I really must give a mention to L'Abeille des Deux-Sevres a Bee keeping Syndicate that provides information and education to prospective bee keepers. These children were fascinated by the glass sided display hive heaving with bees which could also be viewed though a small section of roof that had a ventilation grill and access to water. 

Another special mention is to L'Association pour la Protection des Animaux Sauvages - ASPAS, a National Association that campaigns and uses the legal system to take action against both individuals and the French authorities for breaches of both National or European law. They also provide a service to people that wish to prevent hunters from entering their land and provide assistance if there are "issues".

For those that know France it goes almost without saying that the LPO, (Ligue por la Protection des Oiseaux), Frances largest Bird protection organisation had a large stand providing information, signing up members and selling related books and product

In a large separate section of the exhibition centre there was a section dedicated to what I would broadly call wildlife & nature "art", paintings, sculpture, photography and so on. Some interesting work and much of it a very high standard as far as I can tell!

This is a snip from the winning film The Moor 

However most importantly to me there were a large number stands and even some dedicated areas where they had educational games or other activities for young people to play and learn with motivated adults available to make it fun and interesting. Here's a few photos and I think an appropriate place to end with building the future.

Some Links from this post.
The Festival

Association Kokopelli
Groupe Ornithologique des Deux-Sevres
Deux-Sevres Nature Environnement.
Société Française d'Orchidophile Poitou-Charentes
Conservatoire d'Espaces Naturels de Poitou-Charentes
Poitou-Charentes Nature.