Bretoncelles Patrimoine & Nature in action

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The association Bretoncelles Patrimoine et Nature (BPN) was created in June 2008 on the initiative of villagers passionate about and conscious of the need to care for, maintain and restore the heritage of Bretoncelles and its extensive hinterland (2nd largest commune by area in the Perche).  BPN was created around the themes of architectural, cultural and natural heritage, working for both its material and its intangible aspects: the restoration of St Peter's Church, the numerous hiking trails and many other activities described on this page and throughout the site. Summary here Huge thanks to all our volunteers for their enormous contributions.

BPN celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2023.

 

Activities are described below:

Panneaux de randonnée pédestre à BretoncellesStarting point for all trails

 

Bretoncelles is the second largest commune by area in the department of Orne.
BPN is proud to offer 8 circular walks totalling some 100 km enabling you to pass through its numerous hamlets and magnificent forests and to discover the diversity of our countryside.  There is also a short circular route for persons with reduced mobility.
There are also 3 mountain bike trails at 3 levels of difficulty: 41 km, 23 km and 11 km. 

The starting point for all these circuits is the car park opposite the sports hall and swimming pool. 

All footpaths and biking trails are in good shape, signed and regularly maintained by BPN.

Saturday 25th May 2024 we take part in the Rando61 hike.
Saturday 25th August 2024, hike "Portes du Perche" organised by "La Rando Loupéenne".

If you wish to take part, phone Mark on +33 (0)780352107 for advice on who to contact.

JC Borelly in Bretoncelles

Bretoncelles Patrimoine et Nature regularly organises concerts and cultural events which are open to all.  The church of St Peter and St Paul is renowned for its acoustics and musicians are always delighted to perform there.

Once again in October 2023 the church walls resonated to the music of Quatuor Vocal "summer breeze".  SUPERB CONCERT, with a creative repertoire from the Renaissance to the baroque period, interspersed with gospels. Classical music, jollity and dynamism for all!

In May 2023 the vocal music group GOSPEL attracted 140 people.  The 5 singers of Chœur Gospel’n Life Harmony delighted the large audience gathered before the magnificent starry sky of the choir restored in 2018.

The church walls will once again resonate on Sunday 28th April 2024 at 4 p.m. to the sounds of Jean-Claude Borelly, one of the greatest international trumpet players, who continues his tour of churches and cathedrals for the support of national heritage.

 

Introduction to the OrchardIntroduction to the Orchard

In 2013 BPN decided to plant a conservation orchard in the Espace Naturel Sensible (Sensitive Natural Zone)* in close collaboration with "Les Croqueurs de pommes des collines du Perche" , a society that specialises in the conservation of ancient percheron varieties of apple and associated know-how.
Since 2015 our club has encouraged nature lovers to understand that planting an ancient variety of tree is an eco-citizen act that promotes the history and culture of percheron fruit trees. 

In this spirit BPN planted a number of sorbus domestica (service trees) in November 2023 and in February 2024 held the first Graft Market with the "Les Croqueurs de pommes des collines du Perche" .

* If you are on the camper van site, this sensitive natural zone is to your right past the playground and across the footbridge over the River Donnette.  From the car park go left past the playground and over the footbridge.

Inauguration 1 wwwInauguration of the Saint-Jacques Chapel.

The restoration of the church of St Peter and St Paul has been the main objective of Bretoncelles Patrimoine et Nature since its creation in 2008.

Four projects have been undertaken so far: the exterior in 2017; the choir, the frescoes of the four evangelists and the sky with stars in 2018; the vaulted ceiling of the Great Nave in 2021.

The summer of 2023 saw the restoration of the St James Chapel, financed by the commune and BPN, with the participation of the Fondation du Patrimoine.  The inauguration was on 17th February 2024, followed by a convivial moment around a buffet.

The restoration of the Chapel of the Virgin Mary will take place in 2025.

The church is open to visit from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.throughout the year.

This fine restoration is the work of Annick Dieu, a well-known restorative artist, and is the third collaboration with BPN in the church.

 

 

Wicker harvest in December 2023Wicker harvest in december 2023

In 2020 BPN put in place a willow (osier, wicker) plantation on plot in the Espace Naturel Sensible (Sensitive Natural Zone)* made available by the council and is responsible for its upkeep.
Produced in a natural environment it has become a habitat for flora and fauna.  Willow (osier) is a natural, renewable material;  The basketweavers section of the village leisure club makes use of this willow to make their products.
The willow growers, volunteers from BPN and some of the leisure club members harvest the willow in December.  They have the know-how to plant new cuttings to replace those that did not survive the year.

Jep expo c wwwExhibitions of old postcards

The association regularly takes part in European Heritage Days. Workshops are increasing in number year after year and there is growing interest.

In 2023 BPN organised a walk through the village following the trail of former businesses and an exhibition of old postcards and photos.
In 2022, the focus was on sustainable development with visits to farms and talks by our local producers.

Castle mound in BretoncellesImpressive castle mound in Bretoncelles

Bretoncelles has, within its boundaries the impressive ruins of a castle mound dating from the 10th century which is situated in the forest of Saussay at a place named "la Butte du Château" two kilometres from the village.  Excavations were first carried out by Joseph Decaëns and Anne-Marie Flambard Héricher in 1992.

The site is regularly maintained by members of BPN.  It is readily accessible for visiting on foot, a short kilometre from 'le Val' (small parking area) or via a fine hiking trail (15.5 km - 4 h 30).

The site is impressive!

Mass at La Regeolière in august 2023Mass at the 'calvaire de la Régeollière' in august 2023

Bretoncelles has six calvary crosses at crossroads in and around its hamlets and named places:

  la Croix des Chênes, la Moitillière, la Régeollière, la Crinière, the cemetery, le Haut des Maupinières

Since its founding BPN has taken care of and restored these in order to conserve this exceptional architectural patrimony.

Every year, in August, many villagers meet for mass at the 'calvaire de la Régeollière' in the shade of a majestic linden tree.

2024 : The calvary cross at 'la Croix des Chênes' is being restored.

 
 
 
 

Last edited: 27/05/2024