DéCOUVREZ LA BAIE DE SOMME AVEC des GUIDEs Qualifiés, seul(e), En couple, en famille, entre amis, en groupe, pour les scolaires, il y en aura pour tous les goûts !
All our guided nature outings are conducted by guides who will speak only in French.
Some terms specific to the Bay of Somme may, however, be given in English, but it will be essential to have one or more translators, for English-speaking groups who will still want to perform a walk with our organization.
For those who wish an exit only in English, we can direct you to other English speaking guides, who may be able to offer you a tailor-made outing, depending on their availability.
Prices per adult : 15.00 € for a walk of 2h00/3h00
Prices per child (from 5 to 13 years old) : 7.00 € for a walk of 2h00/3h00
Rates for groups : contact us
How about discovering the Somme estuary ?
Our region is completely unspoilt and nature is still as it's always been.
This document will introduce it to you.
The estuary has a great variety of landscapes and its bird sanctuary is well-known.
Two rivers, the Maye and the Somme have shaped an estuary with a surface of 72 square kilometers.
An exceptional area for birds and plant life. A wide diversity of ecosystems living side by side: the sea, salt marshes, mudbanks and dunes.
Saltmarsh and salty mudbanks are found along the tidal channels of the River Somme and the River Maye. Historically much of this area was covered by the sea and was saltmarsh before being drained for agricultural land. Geologically saltmarsh and salty mudbanks are formed where sediment is deposited by the salt sea water and clear river water. As the mud builds up, salt tolerant plants quickly colonise. One sturdy pioneer plant is the Townsend Spartina; it creates a habitat able to host other plants.
The Estuary is separated into two distinct areas :
Mudflats make up the lower part of the estuary closest to the sea. They are covered twice a day by the rising tide.
The upper shore where the vegetation thrives, only rarely covered by the sea. These are the salt meadows, in the inner part of the bay.
Mudflats and salt meadows form part of a world in transition where the frontier between land earth and water is uncertain, where sky and the sea continually interact.
The saltmarsh ( les Mollières)
1. Its lowest area, the mudbanks, are covered by every tide.
Few plants can grow: cord grass (spartina Townsendi), annual sea blite (sueda maritima), and glasswort (sea cucumber). These plants are exceptional in their adaptation to this extremely salty environment.
2. The middle zone of the saltmarsh is periodically inundated with salt water :
Sea-purslane (obione) dominates, sea aster with its yellow and lilac coloured flowers, sea-spurrey (spergularia)
At a higher level of the saltmarsh (the «salt meadows ») herds of sheep often graze. This animal is a local delicacy; it is labelled « estran » because the salty vegetation gives his meat a unique taste and tenderness.
3. The highest zone of the saltmarsh is very rarely covered by salt water : you can see sea lavender (limonium vulgare), sea wormwood (festuca rubra) and marsh mallow (lavatère)
This area is run through by series of natural canals that fill in at high tide. Inside, you can also see many hunting ponds, each with their hut. Hunting is a traditionally a part of life in the estuary.
In the mudbanks and sandbanks closest the sea, invertebrate life is very rich, so the esturary hosts an exceptional variety of birds (more 300 species can been observed here). You can see waders such as oystercatchers, curlew, redshank (chevalier gambette) or elegant avocet (avocette élégante) with its upcurved beak...
In the saltmarsh, you can see the yellow wagtail (bergeronnette printanière), the sea-pipit (pipit maritime)
and the yellow-beaked twite (bruant à bec jaune)…
On the sandbanks, near the sea and the channel, at low tide you can observe the largest French colony of harbor seals. Several hundred seals live and breed in the estuary. With a lot of patience and a local guide, you can discover and better observe them. But care must be taken not to disturb them to respect their tranquility, because the main problem of seals is the disturbance caused by human activity.