On the night of Wednesday November 1 to Thursday November 2, the passage of storm Ciaran caused a lot of damage in France. The damage is material on the one hand, with a cost estimated at several hundred million euros, but also plant-based.
In Brittany, in the mythical forest of Brocéliande, celebrated by the poet Chrétien de Troyes, the wind blew very hard. The 11,000 hectares covered by the Paimpont/Brocéliande forest massif were shaken by gusts for several hours, causing the legendary Ponthus beech, a 300-year-old tree, to be uprooted.
The news has been spreading for a few hours and some Internet users have already expressed their sadness on social networks like the Breton photographer Philippe Manguin. “He was the basis of my photographic work. Ponthus is no more,” he shared on the social network Facebook. “This storm will have got the better of his strength as an old wise man of the forest despite the fact that he had braved more than one” he added.
Also read “The king of Brocéliande did not resist”: a legendary tree felled by storm Ciaran in Brittany
“This tree was famous here, everyone knew it” says Thomas Jaffré, general director of services at Paimpont town hall. Located on private land, the tree was accessible to visitors thanks to an agreement between the town hall, the tourist office and the owner. “In the forest, there are only 5 or 6 trees like that,” he adds. What made the Ponthus beech impressive was “its size (4 meters in diameter) and its age,” he assures. For several years, the tree was no longer protected. “Around it, many pine trees got sick and were cut down.” In his fall, one of the giants of the forest takes with him part of the legends which inspired the Arthurian novel The Knight of the Lion by Chrétien de Troyes.
Risks of falling branches remain in the forest. To date, a prefectural decree prohibits its access. “The ecoguards have set up markings. Branches can still fall for several days, there is a real danger,” warns Thomas Jaffré.