South Aveyron: The city of insects Micropolis wants to recreate the connection between the public and nature

In Saint-Léons, after two dull years, the city of insects hopes for a return to normal. The opportunity also to raise awareness a little more about the conservation of the Aveyron fauna.

At the start of the holiday, the good weather returns in the southern part of Aveyron: the sun is up, the first flowers are sprouting, and the insects are out. In Micropolis, in the city of Saint-Léons, the first visitors of the season throng the park in the city of insects. Leisure center, group of tourists, families fill the hallways in search of little creatures.

In the bend of a grove, we hear children listing the list of pollinating insects. In these bucolic surroundings, everything would lead to believe that the pandemic did not go through there. After two almost empty years, however, the city of insects intends to breathe new life into it.

25,000 fewer visits per year

“We have just gone through two very special years, entrusts Bertrand Onfray, director of the City of Insects. We made 40,000 admissions a year while we are on a rhythm of 65,000 visits in normal times. We hope to regain our historical rhythm. “

First of all, it is the school excursions that have been missing for the last two years in Micropolis. The successive confinements have damaged the city of insects, with 12,000 students coming annually. “Until mid-March, we did not really know on what footing we should dance with the schools. But the next two months, the conditions are present, we do not worry so much”, continues Bertrand Onfray. A return to normal, which the director hopes holds.

As for the summer, Bertrand Onfray wants to be optimistic. “The last two summers have generally been normal, this should not be too different, although the price of petrol is not too reassuring”, he breathes. Nevertheless, if Bertrand Onfray recognizes that numbers are important, the pedagogical aspect also remains significant. “I prefer in one month to receive 18,000 happy visitors who have learned things, than 20,000 whining”, he details.

Ecological awareness

In fact, the park aims to recreate the connection between the public and nature and make them realize the diversity of Aveyron’s nature, threatened by climate change. “We try to make people aware that nature is changing, that there are seasonal changes, diversity around them,” insists Bertrand Onfray. To do this, we find in the park an exhibition by the photographer Patrice Thébault, Micropolis over the seasons, which provides an opportunity to learn about Micropolis’ seasons, as the summer insects are not the same in winter.

In addition, panels explaining the benefits of compost, late mowing and pollination are scattered throughout the park. “There are simple things to do to learn to live together, everyone needs to get used to them”, emphasizes the director. However, the director insists that the city of insects does not provide education, but in an accompaniment process. “We are not here to say ‘do this, do that’, nor to change behavior, we show them how they do it and they do what they want with it”, specifies Bertrand Onfray. A playful consciousness, aimed at both children and adults.

Activities during the school holidays

The 2022 season is full of new features with an entertainment program that changes with the seasons. The opportunity to live a day with family or friends to discover insects, nature and biodiversity, to enjoy a real reconnection with nature, to observe and observe this fascinating little world that surrounds us.

In April, it’s nature’s awakening. A nice spring program has been prepared for the holiday. To live, entertainment for all, for the curious, Insects to protect, Under the magnifying glass are the beautiful days left, also insects.

A visit to Jean-Henri Fabre’s birthplace is arranged this Wednesday and Friday the 6th of May from 14:00 to 18:00, after reservation.

Other animations have been suggested such as The Lost Mask, an adventure game to find the mask by Jean-Henri Fabre. Or even welcome a solitary bee to your home, and make a small house for solitary bees.

Also to do, on reservation, Caretaker for a day to discover the different facets of caretaker-breeder profession.

Possibility to take a moment of relaxation in the bar-restaurant with panoramic views and tastings on site or packed lunches to take with you to the equipped picnic areas and playgrounds.

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