This is a part of the Mouliere Forest. It is an outcrop of millstone grit and from the edges of the reserve there are good views over the surrounding countryside but whilst on the reserve your views are fairly restricted.
The site is peculiar in that rock has been extracted from it over the years for use as mill stones. This has left a large number of small to medium-sized pools dotted about all over the area. These support a large number of dragonfly and damsel fly species, frogs and no doubt much besides.
On our visit at the beginning of June 2012 we saw several species of Dragonflies and Damselflies, we heard frogs everywhere and saw the back ends of many of them as they dived into the pools. I was disappointed at the lack of bird species. I heard Chifchaff, Great tit, Blackbird and probably a Blackcap but only saw two birds disappearing into the distance. I thought they were Linnets. We took a fairly leisurely walk round and I would have expected to see a bit more. Given the amount of water I was surprised not to see anything like Moorhens,Mallard ducks, Heron, Coots and the like. The habitat looked ideal for Dartford Warblers but I saw none.
In terms of plant life, it is mainly heathers with both Calluna and Erica, There were some spotted orchids, and we did come across one pool that had turned into a marsh and was home to the insectivorous Sundew plants but you could not get up close and personal with them.
As you can tell I was a bit disappointed. It was quite a long way from home, so it is not somewhere I will be visiting again in the near future. If you live within 10 Km then you might want to visit on a regular basis or if you are a Dragonfly freak then I can see it would be a prime site. We combined this visit with a stop at the Mouliere Forest which was similarly underwhelming but again could be good on a good day!
There is a web site for Pinail which is http://www.reserve-pinail.org/
Another site, which is quite interesting, has a report on a visit to Pinail which sounds similar to our visit, ie a bit disappointing. This site is http://keithsbirding.blogspot.fr/2010/08/la-pinail-france.html
Also the LPO has a good site http://vienne.lpo.fr/index.php?m_id=20132