Battle over frog noise in Dordogne not over

The couple ordered to fill in their garden pond to stop the noise of frogs croaking disturbing neighbours say they will appeal.

20 December 2019
By Selma Daddi

It is the last step in a legal battle which has been going on for eight years in Grignols in the Dordogne.

Pond owner Mr Michel Pecheras told Connexion: “We are going to fight to keep the pond. There aren’t that many frogs - the neighbours say there are hundreds but there are maybe dozens. Sometimes it is quiet and sometimes they all croak but they are never louder than a lawnmower, for example,” he added.

An expert previously visited and estimated the noise of the frogs at 63 decibels, equivalent to the noise level of a washing machine.

The neighbours had complained that they could 'no longer stand' the constant noise of the frogs.

The appeal will follow a decision by the court of appeal in Bordeaux on Tuesday (December 17) to fill in the pond without moving the frogs. With the support of the environmental group SEPANSO, the couple had launched a new bid to protect the body of water, arguing that if they evacuated the frogs there would be no need to fill in the 100-plus-year-old pond, which they were determined to save.

Failure to comply with the court order in place means the couple risk fines of €150 per day, despite the fact it was home to a protected species of frog and complying with the court order meant they risked two years in prison and a €150,000 fine.

Previous rulings had been made in the Cour de Cassation in December 2017 and the Cour d'Appel in Bordeaux in 2016 to fill in the pond.

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