© I. Iriser

Forest and woodland

The Eu Forest Experience

The forest is undoubtedly the ultimate place to relax and reenergise! Welcome to the majestic forest of Eu, a vast forest range that stretches between the valleys of the Bresle and Yères rivers. Follow the waymarked trails through the magnificent beech woods and unleash your senses! Inhale all those fragrances of mosses and ferns, listen to the wind in the trees and the song of the birds, admire the woodland scenes and panoramic views of the valley. Like many forests, Eu is dotted with signposts but here they are different; they are made of cast iron, weigh several tonnes and each bear the name of a locality or a reference to the foresters or a member of the Orléans family. Besides its unique signposts, this vast forest has a few special surprises in store for hikers. What’s that stone tucked concealed in the woods? They call it the Pierre Bise and legend has it that smoke emanates from this ancient Druidic monument to announce rainfall or a serious incident. Not far from here, a wooden panel catches the eye. It bears the inscription, “Quesne à Leu”, which in Picard dialect means “Wolves’ Oak”. It is said that the last wolves were killed and judgement passed at the foot of this tree. With a circumference of 4.8m, it can now be seen lying on the ground, after it fell in 2008.

 

What is the Adélaïde stele?

This 12-metre obelisk was erected in 1844 by Louis-Philippe in honour of his sister, Adélaïde. Located between Millebosc and the hamlet of La Tuilerie, the Adélaïde stele is a memorial stone that symbolises brotherly love.

The “Carcahoux”

This odd-looking conical construction is a traditional woodcutter’s hut. It has a framework of 4.5-metre poles and a hole at the top to allow smoke and fumes to escape. The carcahoux hut provided temporary shelter and warmth for the lumberjacks, who slept and ate their meals inside during the woodcutting season, then abandoned it. Today, a beautiful reconstruction of this typical feature of the forest of Eu stands in the middle of Millebosc – a village whose name means “middle of the wood” – where the forest is celebrated every year at the end of September.

 

A spot of history…

The history of the forest of Eu began when Briga was left to abandon. This Gallo-Roman town stood at a locality named Le Bois l’Abbéon on the Beaumont plateau and covered the entire area between the Yères and Bresle valleys. That was before major work to clear the plateau was carried out between the 11th and 13th centuries.

Ever since, the forest of Eu has been fragmented into three ranges and the area between them occupied by crop fields. The clearing work slowed down from the 14th century onwards, never to resume because of the steady development of the forestry industry. This exploitation of the forest was a contributing factor in the establishment of a high number of glassmaking factories in the Bresle Valley.

After belonging to the  Dukes of Normandy and later, the Counts of Eu, the forest was confiscated, then returned to them during the Revolution. Thus, Eu Forest remained the property of the Orleans family who managed to retain it until the State eventually took control in the early 20th century.

In 1915, the State and the departmental council of Seine Inférieure (now Seine Maritime) took possession of Eu Forest once and for all.

Nowadays, it is managed by the National Forestry Office on behalf of the State and the Seine-Maritime council.

Autres expériences