The Petit Saint-Jean Estate: combining innovative agricultural practices and nature conservation in the Camargue
The aim of the Tour du Valat for this estate, which it has been managing since 2012, is to develop a conservation management project that incorporates a productive, sustainable, and autonomous agricultural system based on the principles of agroecology and agroforestry, seeking to achieve synergies with natural habitats, especially wetlands.
Actions and methodology
Since the start of this project in 2012, numerous actions have already been set up and continue to be developed:
- Planting crops: vines (5 ha), meadow-orchards (4 ha) with olive, persimmon, pistachio, pomegranate, and almond trees; an agroforestry stand with wild pear and service trees to be used for timber; generalisation of permanent cover crops to improve the biological life of the soil:
- Testing of innovative crops;
- Energy saving and renewable energy measures (solar pump, draught animals);
- Restoration of old buildings (housing, winery, farmhouse);
- Planned conservation management using Open Standards methodology;
- Multi-partner management of the grazing of natural and agricultural habitats (horse, cattle, sheep, and goat farmers).
Production of organically farmed grape juice and wine (commercialised in the Arles area), and animal fodder; organisation of several field days with technical or financial partners, or local professionals, for transfer of knowledge and good practice.
- Project leader: Nicolas Beck 
- Staff involved: Loïc Tendron , Lisa Ernoul , Brigitte Poulin 
- Date of project: Since 2012
- GRAB Avignon 
- AGROOF 
- Domaine viticole de l’Enclos de la Croix 
- Domaine viticole de Scamandre
- Jean Clopes (draught animal trainer and horse breeder)