Alain Roujas - founder and presenter of “La Clairiere des Insectes” explains the thinking behind his educational project in the Pyrenean foothills south of Toulouse in France. Alain, a passionate insect follower from childhood, has cleared a hectare or so of naturally regenerated oak and sweet chestnut forest on what was farmed land until the 1950s. The place is now home to more than two dozen native orchids and more than a hundred protected species of insects and plants.
He champions “ordinary biodiversity” as opposed to focusing attention on better-known, “heritage” species. His project introduces an annual audience of several thousand schoolchildren, students, farmers and members of the visiting public to the wealth of nature in their own backyards and suggests what they might do to help local biodiversity.