It is no wonder that LeRoptai ‘s motto is ‘In the heart of nature, in the green Ardennes’. Look around you and you will see that we are located in a wonderful natural environment. The wood of Le Roptai sits on La Calestienne, a narrow geological formation which is 2 to 10 km wide and 130km long. It starts near Louveigné au Vallon des Chantoirs in Belgium and stretches in a south-westerly direction encompassing Barvaux-sur-Ourthe, Hotton and Rochefort, reaches Givet in France and ends in the area of Fourmies and Wallers-Trélon, encompassing Couvin and Chimay. The geological formation covers a great part of the Fagnes and Famenne, which is the north-westerly part of the Ardennes. La Calestienne is characterized by the presence in its soil of coral reefs from the warm seas dating back to approximately 395 million years.
The climate in the area of La Calestienne is quite unique. Thermal energy within the limestone rocks accounts for sometimes very dense fog banks which arise from water evaporating within the rocks. The fog is usually followed by great sunny spells. This also explains why rare orchids can grow in some of our valleys.
La Calestienne has a quite varied wildlife. Here are just some examples for bird lovers: the Hawfinch (Appelvink), the Yellow Hammer (Geelgors), the Eurasian Bullfinch (Goudvink), the Tawny Owl (Bosuil), the Woodlark (Boomleuwerik), the Nightingale (Nachtegaal), the Eurasian Golden Oriole (Wielewaal), the Short-toed Treecreeper (Boomkruiper), the Lesser Whitethroat (Braamsluiper), the European Stonechat (Roodborsttapuit), the Black Woodpecker (Zwartespecht), the Grey Partridge (Grijzepatrijs) are all to be seen! The area around Ave-et-Auffe is also well-known for its numerous butterfly specimens.
The area is mostly known for its dry-grass prairie on the southern sides of limestone hills: they are indeed a fertile ground for wild orchids and other rare plants growing on the limestone soils of Belgium…
Among the villages of La Calestienne, seven were listed among the most beautiful villages in Wallonia: Lompret, Fagnolle, Vierves-sur-Viroin, Sohier, Ny, Wéris and Deigné
You will find more information about the natural environment of the area on the websites of Natura 2000, Natagora and Biodiversité.
‘the manager told us that thanks to La Calestienne the campsite has a kind of microclimate’