Have you ever driven along the motorways and marvelled at the sight of a herd of deer in the greenery adjacent to the motorway?
These animals’ territories span across large areas and are at times traversed by hazardous motorways. This problem did not go unnoticed and a solution has been created: ecobridges.
They’re also known as wildlife crossings or animal bridges. These bridges not only brighten up the grey and dreary motorways but provide safe passage to animals to cross.
The bridges have been landscaped to attract and help guide different types of animals across, such as wild boar, deer etc. These bridges are mini-ecosystems and there is something for everyone, such as a pond to attract amphibians and a rocky barrier to facilitate the crossing of reptiles and rodents. Wooden panels are added on either side of the bridge to limit the noise and disturbance from the motorway. Scientists have placed wildlife cameras at the end of each bridge in order to get some candid snaps of the different types of animals utilising the bridge.
These bridges are becoming increasingly popular and the main motorway operator in France, Vinci, is spending more and more money (€177 million since 2010) on these green bridges. Since 2015 they have built 29 of these amazing crossings. How can you recognise these remarkable bridges you ask? The animal cut-outs in the wooden paneling on each side of the bridge! Your chances of spotting one of these green marvels is a lot higher in the area around Vierzon in the Cher departement, as there are six of them in close proximity in that area.