Biodiversity

Gardens respectful of nature
Balanced living spaces

 

“We are aware that Nature has offered us an incredible place, endowed with riches that it is our duty to preserve. The gardens of the Château de Vullierens welcome thousands visitors each year. Admired for their beauty, the diversity of their species and their flowers, our grounds also tell the story of biodiversity. In a desire to offer gardens as beautiful from the outside as from the inside, the Château de Vullierens has been committed since 2019 to promoting wildlife by offering resources and refuges to the animal and plant species that participate together in the balance of our gardens.’’

Le Châtelain

LIVE AND LET LIVE

With its 100 hectares of land, woodlands and gardens, the Château de Vullierens is home to a flora and fauna that is both rich and essential for the preservation of species and nature. Since their creation in 1950, these gardens have been synonymous with preserving the landscape and biodiversity, one cannot function without the other. A natural  environment  already present which has  been enriched since 2019 by the creation of tailor-made habitats intended to accommodate species of insects and animals. An environmental project planned to expand in the coming years, necessary, useful and also important for educational purposes. Indeed, the Château de Vullierens intends to make its visitors aware of the preservation of biodiversity, by inspiring and informing them, thanks in particular to the presence of garden volunteers.

BALANCED LIVING SPACES

To date, the art of biodiversity at Château de Vullierens is written with the presence of 8 different species, each playing a role in the balance of its gardens.

Owls and birds 

Three nesting boxes installed around the chateau welcome ‘Tyto Alba’ owls and soon, hopefully, wild ‘Strix alba’ owls. Now endangered species that will live alongside other bird species, such as Robin, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Nuthatch, and Woodpecker, thanks to the 55 small nest boxes recently installed for nesting time in the spring. As the Château collaborates with the EPFL, the garden team will help researchers monitor the nesting habits several times a year.

Butterflies dragonflies and damselflies

The ecological richness of a garden is measured by the presence of indicator species such as butterflies. The gardens of Château de Vullierens are already home to many families of lepidoptera, such as Nymphalidae (Vanessa cardui, Inachis io) and Papilionidae (Swallowtail Britannicus), and will see new species introduced over the coming years. To encourage diversity, the chateau gardens have a wide variety of plant species, including plants favorable to the presence of butterflies such as sedum, lavender, heather and buddleia also known as the butterfly tree. Some plants like nettles, serve as hosts for breeding and feeding caterpillars, while others are only visited by adult butterflies for their nectar.

There are 80 species of dragonflies in Switzerland. Eggs and larvae develop in water while adult dragonflies live in terrestrial environments, which requires the presence of different and interconnected habitats. The Moat and the Secret Garden of the chateau are perfectly adapted biotopes which also host numerous dragonflies and damselflies (Cordugelaster Boltonii and Aeshna Affinis). In order to enrich the species already present, new ones will be introduced, over the coming years, by adding in eggs and larvae.

Bees and auxiliary insects

The diversity of our plants, allows maximum flowering, thus covering the needs of bees throughout the year. In order to promote ideal conditions in the spring after their hibernation period, the Château de Vullierens would like to install 2 hives. Their aim would be, above all, ecological and educational, aiming to provide bees with the most natural environment possible and not to introduce an intensive culture with the sole objective of producing honey.

A future observation area is also planned, that will allow visitors to be able to understand the functioning of a hive by seeing inside the hive through a glass window. To ensure the diversity necessary for the life and the safeguarding of bees, different natural habitat areas will be created for both bumblebees and mason bees.

Insects represent the richest class of species in the animal kingdom, and almost 60% of all animal species. They play an essential role in the preservation and survival of other species. Thanks to the creation of a dozen insect hotels, the Château gardens will encourage the installation of auxiliary insects, such as ladybirds, butterflies, masonary bees, earwigs, lacewings and beetles, and will encourage their winter survival. Insects that will not only pollinate plants but also fight pests. With its refuges, the Château de Vullierens works with and not against Nature.

Hedgehogs and amphibians

Hedgehogs have existed for over 60 million years, threatened with extinction, they need new shelters. The chateau gardens offers them protected areas, shelters for nesting and hibernating, in return these small mammals are excellent auxiliaries, lovers of slugs, snails and harmful insects. In order to increase the number of breeding adults and ensure the survival of the species, the Château de Vullierens collaborates in particular with the association SOS Hérisson and has already released several adult males into its Enchanted Woodland.

The wet areas of the chateau, the Moat and the Secret Garden, have always hosted several species of toads and frogs. In order to increase their presence within the gardens and offer them a good environment  for their development, the Enchanted Woodland’s pond will also soon welcome new amphibians.

LONG TERM COMMITMENT

By offering diversified safe resources and refuges, the Château de Vullierens Gardens promotes wildlife, in helping to protect animal and plant species which together contribute to the balance of its gardens.

Because beauty is cultivated above all from within.