Europe and Central Asia
13 Jul 2016

Summer drinks at the French seaside

When an area is protected, it does not stop all human activities. It is about ensuring the conservation of the area can be sustained. Photo: Pauline Loubat/LPO
By Bruna Campos and Thierry Micol

Canoe down the tributary of Charente, passing Rochefort – a historical seaside town and common sight in the region of Poitou-Charente, and arrive at the vast Atlantic Ocean. Known for its sweet ‘Pineau des Charentes’, the Poitou-Charentes region also boasts beautiful seaside views and abundant nature. The area has also been identified as a marine Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) by LPO (BirdLife in France), due to high congregations of seabirds and waterbirds.

Whether it is sailing, surfing or enjoying the beaches, there is much to enjoy by the coast of Poitou-Charentes, especially in the Île de Ré, where one can enjoy cycling around the island and take in the view with very little car traffic around.

Bird to watch out for

Looking for a rare bird? Closer inshore, try to spot a rare small dark and graceful tern with a large slender bill as long as its head feeding at the water surface. During the breeding season, adult male Black Terns (left; photo: Christophe Egreteau/LPO) have a dark grey back and grey upper wing and tail, while the underparts, chin, throat, head, neck and breast are black. Their legs and feet are blackish-red. Try to also tell the difference from an adult female, which will be slightly greyer with a dull black head.

Working with the aquaculture sector to minimise marine litter

If while walking on the beach here you find a cone shaped plastic object, this most likely came from one of the aquaculture farms. LPO together with the sector is working to eliminate their plastic pollution. But you can help too: picking up your beach litter can help keep the beach clean.

When an area is protected, it does not mean a stop to all human activities. Instead, it is about ensuring that the conservation of the area can continue to be sustained. Can the shellfish sector achieve this?

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Summer seaside activities

Be it a climate change exposition, the 6th edition of the Arts en Décalé market, public meetings to discuss urban projects, nature walks to see the magical wonders at dusk, or safaris for the kids for a first-hand experience of the fauna and flora – this summer, there will be a lot to do in the Charente-Maritime. Click

Tip from the locals: Yvette and Bernard Galton

“If you are looking for a good tool to help you find some birds, we recommend using the app Naturalist (available for Android only for the moment in all European languages). It allows you to see where the birds are and the rare birds around you. The web database of LPO also has all the information you need to birdwatch in Charente-Maritime."







Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.