Posted by: markyboy1 | May 16, 2012

The river Selune, Manche Normandy

The river Selune springs to life in Sainy-Cyr-du-Bailleul and flows on through Barenton, St Hilaire du Harcouet and Ducey, and by the time it reaches the bay of Mont St Michel close to Avranches, it has covered just a fraction over 91 kilometres.

Highly reputed for its salmon and trout fishing, the Selune is rated as a first category river by fisherman. Interestingly 40 pecent of the line caught salmon in France are caught in the department of Manche, and a large number of those in the Selune.

If fishing is not your thing, fear not, the Selune has many interesting features, namely the two hydro-electric dams at Roche-qui-boit, and at Vezins.

The barrier at Roche-qui-boit was built during the first world war, with work starting in 1916 and was completed in 1919. Standing 16 metres high and 129 metres long, its lake is 5 kilometres long, covering 40 hectares and holding 40 million cubic metres of water. It produces 4 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year.

Work was started on the second barrier at Vezins in 1929 and completed in 1932. Its lake is 19 kilometres long and covers 72 Hectares. The lakes at Vezins are particularly spectacular, with steep rocky backdrops, and clear blue water, (although not at the moment due to the amount of rain that has fallen recently). With the water and the steep wooded hills comes wildlife, and deer, wild boar and many other species are often seen in the river valley.

Unfortunately these two hydro-electric dams are nearing the end of their lifespan, and are due to be dismantled shortly. Local opposition is high, with the lakes providing leisure facilities and spectacular view in south Manche. A decision on the sustainability of the region is due on the 9th June 2012, so now is the time to get your walking boots on and get those all important photos once and for all. For some great photos on a sunny day (for those all important water reflections), I recommend you visit Ducey, a lively but traditional village which provides great opportunities with the river, bridges, and a wier. The auberge is also worth a visit for those wishing to try out the local cuisine.

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