Woëvre

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Location of the Woëvre
The Woëvre, in green

The Woëvre is a natural region of Lorraine in northeastern France. It forms part of Lorraine plateau and lies largely in the department of Meuse.

The Woëvre lies on the right bank of the Meuse River, from the valley of the Chiers in the north to the town of Neufchâteau in the south. To the west, the region follows the Meuse, to the east it extends into the neighbouring department of Meurthe-et-Moselle. The Lac de Madine lies in the Woëvre as does the western part of the Parc naturel régional de Lorraine. Neighbouring natural regions include the Côtes de Meuse on the left bank of the Meuse, the Barrois to the south, and the Côtes de Moselle to the east. The Belgian Ardennes lie to the north.

Along with the Côtes de Moselle, the Woëvre is one the of areas in the Lorraine that receives the least rainfall. Nonetheless, it river system is very important and feeds into the Lac de Madine. Since the Middle Ages, inhabitants along part of this system have used earthen levees to create ponds used for aquaculture, which now provide important refuges for migratory birds.

The soil of this region includes layers of sandstone and limestone acquifers separated by impermeable clay. This part of the Lorraine is particularly forested, particularly with oak trees.

Certain areas in the Woëvre are designated as "Zones naturelles d'intérêt écologique, faunistique et floristique" or ZNIEFFs, a designation that marks them as particularly important to the preservation of France's ecological heritage either because of the plants or animals they support, their ecological role, or their local or national importance. The Conservatoire des sites lorraines, created to protect endangered species, purchased most of these areas in 1994.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Lorraine, Encyclopédies Bonneton, Christine Bonneton Éditeur, 2002, ISBN 2-86253-289-4

Coordinates: 49°7′N 5°30′E / 49.117°N 5.500°E / 49.117; 5.500