The BnF

The forest garden of François-Mitterrand Library

The forest garden of François-Mitterrand Library © Béatrice Lucchese / BnF
The reading rooms of François-Mitterrand Library encircle a large enclosed garden located at the heart of the building.

The flora and fauna are particularly interesting to study because of its location, environmentally friendly practices and the absence of human presence.
The various animal and plant species can ‘use’ the place temporarily to make headway in the city or stay there permanently.
Ecologically managed, the garden contributes to creating a green urban network.


Click on images for a larger view

This piece of forest, made from the model of Fontainebleau forest, is located in a deep excavation of more or less 3 metres in the limestone rock. The excavation has been filled with a two – to five-metre thick and slightly hilly layer of forest ground. This piece of forest takes up the three-quarters of the 10 600 square metres dedicated to the garden; the remaining quarter is covered with lawn.

It comprises 165 Scots pines (pinus sylvestris L.), including about a hundred adult specimens that were moved from Bord forest (Normandy) in 1994.

Other trees coming from tree nurseries embellish the wooded areas of the garden: 65 silver birches (Betula pendula L.), 21 oak trees (Quercus robur L.), 18 hornbeams (Carpinus betulus L.). and various species have been planted out spontaneously: 19 wild cherries (Prunus avium L.), 7 black elder trees (Sambucus nigra L.), 3 Rowan trees (Sorbus aucuparia L.) and one aspen (Populus termula L.).

Ferns, heathers, anemones, hyacinths, geraniums and mock strawberry plants cover the undergrowth.


See also

The garden © Pascal Lafay / BnF Permanent exhibition  Discovering the BnF's garden
From December 2011
François-Mitterrand Library- Encyclopedia alley

‘Rendez-vous aux jardins’ (Discovering gardens)

 Rendez-vous aux jardins © Emmanuel Nguyen Ngoc / BnF
Each year, the BnF takes part to the ‘Rendez-vous aux jardins’ event and proposes guided tours of the forest garden, usually closed to users and visitors.


National Museum of natural History

Callimorph (Euplagia quadripunctaria) in the forest garden

Callimorph (Euplagia quadripunctaria) in the forest garden

A team of specialists from the National Museum of natural History is interested in this piece of nature managed without the use of chemicals; since 2009, they have been making an inventory of species existing in this area in line with space and time.

The inventory made in 2009 counted among other species 58 various species of flora, 20 species of spiders, 8 species of butterflies and 13 species of birds.

LPO (Ligue pour la protection des oiseaux – Society for the protection of birds) refuge

The European sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) at the BnF © Jean-Pierre Mériaux / BnF

The European sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) at the BnF

On several opportunities, the BnF worked in collaboration with the LPO.

In 2004, in the framework of the LPO programme promoting the return of the peregrine falcon in cities, two nest boxes were fixed up at the top of tower two. This bird of prey is known to stay in Ivry and may come and occupy one of these nest boxes.
Meanwhile, falcons in the garden temper the number of starlings, formerly present sometimes in tremendous quantities. A couple of falcons made his nest there and two young birds were born in 2011.

In 2003, the LPO had provided its expertise when anti-collusion devices had been stuck over the garden’s walls. Thanks to these devices, birds are now almost never victim of glasses.

In the same spirit, the BnF has set up a partnership around the ‘Jardin-Refuge LPO’ (LPO Refuge garden) programme. This programme promotes the development of ecologically-managed gardens not using plant-care products and favouring plants enjoyed by birds and insects.

Thursday, March 13, 2014