Living in Paris and being close to nature is an impossible bet?

Contrary to what one might think, Paris is a city where nature is everywhere, even in its most unpredictable forms. The documentary “Paris, Ville Nature” tells the story of 7 passionate Parisians who live and revive nature in the capital every day.

Falcons in Notre Dame, foxes in Pere Lachaise, wild orchids in the wastelands, gathering in Vincennes or pike fishing in the Seine … In recent years, almost 2,800 wild species of both plants and animals have been spotted in Paris. . This wild world is still invisible to a large number of residents of the capital, who still seem to be striving for a new form of approach to nature.




Video duration: 41 seconds

Trailer “Paris, a city of nature”



© France 3 PIDF

The film “Paris, Ville Nature” takes us to the heart of the nature of Paris through cross-portraits of 7 Parisians who manage to maintain close ties with him, despite the obstacles of the city. Each of these characters, through their activity, makes it possible to discover one of the facets of the nature of Paris.

  • Emily Beans is a naturalist illustrator

You can meet Emily on the bend of Butte Montmartre, with a pencil in her hand, drawing a great tit that nests near the Sacre Coeur, or on a linden tree in the Abbess Garden.

For Emily, it all started in high school when she did an internship at the Museum of Natural History. It secretly attracts crustaceans there, which continues to attract the attention of the Museum staff, who encourage it in this direction. She excelled in drawing during her professional experience at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris and at the Aquarium de la Port Dore, to finally become a naturalist designer.

In 2016, Emily opened a gallery-workshop in Les Abbesses, the only Parisian art space dedicated to scientific drawing. In addition to teaching drawing, the initiative aims to raise public awareness of environmental protection, which is one of the artist’s daily battles.

  • Nicholas Davey is an animal photographer

A young, relaxed-looking man in his 30s, an engineer by education, an amateur photographer with a passion for wildlife. You just need to look into his Instagram account to see it. It is full of great pictures of birds, squirrels, rabbits and even insects.

As a Parisian throughout his life, he naturally turned to animals he could observe in his home, in the woods and in city parks. Through his photographs, he reveals to the general public some living beings that inhabit the capital, but remain invisible to ordinary mortals.

Throughout his practice, he was able to adapt to this urban environment and understand its boundaries to make it strong: “I’m not saying that the city is an ideal place to take pictures of nature, but you can use its features to get very interesting images that are sometimes impossible to do elsewhere. »

  • Masami Charlotte Lavaux is a gardener

Over the last ten years, we have seen growing on roofs or industrial wastelands, urban gardens, where we sow, cultivate and harvest. Masami, the 30-year-old Franco-Japanese winner of the Paris Cultures competition in 2017, is a little special: it’s the only one where only flowers are grown.

This 1,200 m2 garden, hidden behind Belleville Cemetery, is home to more than 200 different species, including black damask, cosmos, calendula or even the lion’s mouth … And Masami grows all these species without pesticides and fertilizers, following the requirements of biodynamics. After the harvest, to prevent short circuits, it will sell its flowers directly to its customers (florists and individuals), by bicycle or at markets near its flower farm.

The environmental issue underlies Masami’s approach, she chose this activity to match her values, as opposed to those of her former job as an industrial designer, which she did in a previous life in London.

  • Fernand Derussen is a song hunter

Blackbird, great tit, winter nettle, kestrel – so many species of birds that can be observed in Paris. Do you still need to have the necessary knowledge and keen hearing?

Fernand is an audio naturalist and a volunteer member of the Ile-de-France Bird Protection League. This restrained, 50-year-old, moon-eyed young man crosses the parks and forests of Paris as soon as he can to watch the birds of the capital. In addition to watching them, his obsession is to record them. More than a work, it is his hobby, so he has published more than two hundred works on the sounds of nature, including the albums “Seas & Oceans” and “Chants d’oiseaus”, which are still the only “gold records”. about the sounds of nature in France.

His favorite place to record and listen to these songs? Butte-Chaumont Park, one of the “green lungs” of Paris. “Butte has more unmown wastelands than other parks in Paris, where there are mostly lawns. Here the animals have enough food and can hide, it is a favorite landmark for birds, here you can see at least 42 species. »

  • Aurelien Fio and Camille Reichers – Fishermen

Over the years, more and more fishing rods have appeared on the banks of the Seine in Paris. They and the fishermen who keep them come to enjoy a new fashionable hobby: street fishing, literally: “the art of fishing in the city.”

City dwellers continue to inherit this activity because of the variety of fish that are now found in the Seine, which destroys the image of the Epinal people who are usually engaged in this activity. Pike, pike perch, roach or even perch, there are now about thirty species of fish in the capital, and this number is increasing due to improved water quality.

Aurelien Fio and Camille Reicher, avid Parisian fishermen, decided to create the first club in the capital: Naturlish Academy. Thanks to this club, located on the edge of the Urk Canal, Camille and Aurelien want to fish with respect for the environment, during which fish are systematically thrown back into the water. In addition, unlike traditional fishing, the bait used by Naturlish members is a soft fish-shaped bait.

  • Nadine Lahoud – Farmer on the roofs

In 2009, Nadine left her position at a large DIY store to form the Veni Verdi Association. This structure aims to introduce children to nature in Parisian schools, create social ties and plant gardens in urban areas to influence our environment, our society and our economy.

The craving arose when she was picking green beans in a shared garden near her home. The child came to help him collect them and said: “Hey, I didn’t know french fries grow that way.” “There I thought I really needed to do something.”

Nadine wants to see how urban farms thrive in every district of the capital, so that all Parisians sit and make every child “Passionate about the planet.” The Veni Verdi Association has just been recognized as socially useful and received the Medal of Associations of the City of Paris. However, at first no one believed in his project: “Initially, I had to invest my personal savings because all the doors were closed to me. With the help of the director of the college, Henri Matisse (Paris 20), I arranged a garden on the roof of the institution without administrative permission. “

  • Christoph de Hody – Picker

Christoph has always been a city collector and nature enthusiast. He enjoys going to the Vincennes Forest every day, one of his favorite attractions, both in summer and winter, to gather and gather all the plants and ingredients he needs to heal and feed himself.

He has done this work, and through his company he regularly organizes group trips to pass on knowledge about wild plants and their use to as many people as possible.

They are sold out every week, which shows the enthusiasm of Parisians on these topics. Thanks to this approach, the 30-year-old botanist and founder of Chemins de la nature seeks to bring plant heritage back into vogue and enable everyone to realize this healing and nutritional richness. surrounds us.

“Paris Ville Nature” is available in 3 formats:

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