Rapport de suivi civique
Monitoring the Restauration du Murs à pêches project

Inviato il 16/06/2022 | di Solution : Solidarité & Inclusion


The Murs à pêches (Peach Walls) site, located in Montreuil, is the last witness of the fruit culture that made the city famous under the Ancien Régime and until the aftermath of the Second World War. The result of a rare know-how of construction and arboriculture to acclimatize the peaches to the Ile-de-France climate, the walls are a unique example of the use of local topographic and geological resources, taking advantage of their thermal qualities.
Privatized and fragmented by urbanization, long reduced to a state of wasteland, the Murs à pêches gardens are today a natural reserve that the City of Montreuil intends to preserve and enhance through the development of the Biodiversity Trail project.
The Biodiversity Trail was defined by the set of paths and trails that allow one to travel through the heart of the Saint-Antoine district. It reactivated routes lost during the degradation of the district and gives access (physically or visually) to a string of spaces that are as many different environments hosting the flora and fauna of Ile-de-France. The new routes support a didactic discovery of the biodiversity of the Parisian Basin, in connection with the history of the site and thanks to adapted furniture and information supports. The objective of the project was to enhance and preserve a unique natural area through actions to safeguard, restore and promote biodiversity in an urban environment.

The site of the Murs à Pêches hosts about fifteen associations, with various activities, from gardening to theater, through the organization of activities and workshops for children. Thanks to FEDER funding, they were actively involved in the restoration works of the site, such as the association 'Les Pierres de Montreuil', the intermediary integration association La Domifa and masons who are members of the employment cooperative. In addition to this work, which gives place to training through integration, with more than 30% of employees on integration schemes, many other forms of work are being set up, like volunteer workcamps with advice and professional supervision, educational workcamps or mixed training workcamps combining volunteers and employees on integration schemes.

This project is part of a larger initiative undertaken by the City of Montreuil aimed at restoring the Murs à pêches.


The project ended in 2020.


Intervention très utile et efficace - Les aspects positifs prévalent et sont jugés dans leur ensemble du point de vue de l'utilisateur final.

The main results of the project have been to restore the gardens, the paths and trails through the ancient Murs à pêches that allow locals to move through the Saint-Antoine neighborhood and to enjoy a green space in this urban area.
The safeguard of biodiversity is also a result of the project.

Points de faiblesse

Finding reliable and clear information about the use of the ERDF for the restoration of the Murs à pêches was the main difficulty that the monitoring group encountered during the study and visits of the site. It seems that the intervention of the EU is not well advertised. No billboards nor explications are displayed at the site and only few people knew that the EU funds helped to restore the site.


The monitoring group particularly appreciated the social and environmental aspects of the project for the rehabilitation of the Murs à pêches. Biodiversity was at the center of this project. One of its objectives was to protect local species from urbanization and massive construction by restoring a number of paths and trails going through the gardens of the ancient Murs à pêches gardens and fields.
The project also had a positive impact on the educational level, as the Murs à pêches is also a place for families, schools and children to discover local flora and fauna, raising this way awareness about biodiversity in a popular neighborhood of Montreuil.
The benefits on the local communities was definitely one of the outcomes of the project that the monitoring group estimated as most valuable. During the study visit that was organized at Murs à pêches, they had the opportunity to “experience” the site and to evaluate the intervention both of the EU and local funds. At the Murs à pêches, the participants found a wide number of families, school students and also older inhabitants of the neighborhood who spend their afternoon there with their children, visit the historical site, enjoy the events that are currently organized in the gardens of the Murs à pêches and also gardening. We could observe that there is a wide community benefitting from the green areas that the restoration works made available and accessible to all the inhabitants of the Saint-Antoine neighborhood. So, after monitoring this project, we came to the conclusion that the main impact of the project was on local communities and the associations contributing to take care of this site.

Des risques

The main risk for the Murs à pêches is that in the next years there may be a lack of funding to take care of the gardens, the walls and the biodiversity. This may result in degradation of the site and as a consequence in less citizens taking advantage from this urban green space.

Solutions et idées

- The most useful solution would be, of course, to allocate more and continuous funding to Murs à pêches in order to make sure that the gardens, plants and walls are kept in a good state.
- The second solution is to keep on organizing local events in Murs à pêches lots in order to keep on involving local communities and this way maintain the place alive .

Le sondage

Comment les informations ont-elles été collectées?

  • Raccolta di informazioni via web
  • Visita diretta documentata da foto e video
  • Intervista con gli utenti/beneficiari dell'intervento
  • Intervista con altre tipologie di persone

The monitoring group interviewed the person responsible for the Patrick Fontaine garden (one of the gardens of Murs à pêches) and several inhabitants of Saint-Antoine neighborhood in Montreuil. The first interviewee was contacted through phone call and accepted to meet the monitoring group at Murs à pêches to tell more about the site. The other interviewees were citizens who regularly go to Murs à pêches for different reasons. Most of them are parents taking their children for a walk or to play in the gardens, others are volunteers gardening and taking care of the plants and trees of the Murs à pêches. We also met a student in botanic studying the techniques used in these gardens to grow trees and plants.

Domande principali

Interview with one of the responsible persons of Patrick Fontaine garden:
- What do you know about the Restoration of Murs à pêches project funded by the European Funds for Regional Development?
- Why is the Murs à pêches so special and why is it important to preserve it?

Interview with inhabitant of Saint-Antoine neighborhood:
- Do you know how to comment manage a plot of the gardens of Mur à pêches?What do you know of Murs à pêches? How do you live this green site?
- Do you know about the EU funded project “Restoration of Murs à pêches”?

Réponses principales

Answers from the responsible of the Jardin Patrick Fontaine:
- “There isn’t much knowledge here about what the EU funds have done for the Murs à pêches. But I know that some EU funds supported the restoration works conducted by Les Pierres de Montreuil association. This is an organization focusing also on social inclusion, helping job-seekers to get an employment. They were trained and then started working on the restoration of some parts of the ancient walls of Murs à pêches. About the funding programme, I know that in the last 5 years there has been a real will from the Municipality of Montreuil to conduct works at Murs à pêches and this is probably the reason why also EU funds were granted. So, the Municipality and the EU contributed to reactivate routes that had been lost during the degradation of the neighborhood. This is a positive thing as the neighbor’s residents have now access to biodiversity and green spaces, which wasn’t the case before in this area where heavy construction policies have drastically reduced the number of green spaces.”
- “These gardens (of the Murs à pêches) are the result of a rare know-how of construction and arboriculture from the 17th century to acclimatize the peaches to the Ile-de-France climate. Before the intervention of the Municipality and other associations, we were about to lose this site forever. It was totally abandoned, invasive plants were growing everywhere and the walls were falling apart. Now, we are proud of the restoration work that has been done and we want to keep on our engagement in taking care of this special green site”.

Answers from an inhabitant of Saint-Antoine neighborhood:
- “It's domething very old, from the 17th century and it was a wide land where they used to grow flowers and fruits. They developed this technique of using the walls that keep the plants warm and protect them from winter freezing. Now are families who used parts of the gardens and also associations and the Municipality. For istance last year the gardens and land were renewed by the Municipality and involved associations by giving to each one a specific role. These gardens are open every Monday. Regarding the other big garden managed by the Sens de l’Houmous association, they do social actions and inclusion, they sell flowers and so on. There is also a circus here. Not everyone is here to cultivate the land. But there are about 25 hectares of land in this area of Mur à pêches.
This place means a lot to me. I come here almost every weekend with my child just to have a walk, to show flowers and trees to my daughter, to attend an event or to talk to other people from the neighborhood who come here as often as me. We can say that we’ve become regulars of this precious green space growing right in the middle of the city.

- “I don’t know this European project, but it would be interesting to learn more. It’s a pity that we are not informed enough of this kind of initiatives, which can definitely bring great benefits to locals”.