The marshlands

Marennes-Oléron is one of the areas with the highest humidity levels in France. Made by several generations over centuries, the marshes are a significant part of this area's heritage. In 1995 as part of the Heritage and Nature label incentive, the region council initiated a global conservation scheme in order to protect the marshes.

In the Middle Ages, a vast proportion af the marshes were converted into salt marshes and complex pipe networks were installed due to the then thriving salt trade. In the 19th century oyster marshes "claires d'affinage" replaced the salt marshes. Nowadays traditional oyster farming is still very active. The marshes also provide ideal grounds for vegetable farms. The marshes are also home to a multitude of species and a prolific flora.

Brouage is the town of storks in Charente-Maritime because its marsh provides plenty of food for the storks. Over 150 bird species including grey herons and egrets come to build their nests in Brouage.

If you wish to find out more about the fascinating marshes, head to le marais des Bris in Saint-Trojan-les-Bains where guided tours are on offer.

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