Field Trips

Mid-conference tours will be organised on 30 August. These will involve a half-day excursion to natural areas in the vicinity of Bordeaux with various activities depending on the group. To ensure the best quality of the tour, the conference delegates will be divided into two groups (hereafter called "South" and "North") and will visit different destinations and conduct various activities. Both tours are of equal quality. They are included in the conference fees. You will receive information about your group upon registration.

Field trips will be chosen to provide the clearest possible image of the local context. This will be also an occasion to focus on some of the specific characteristics of  French management systems. In Nouvelle Aquitaine, nature conservation does not take place in isolated and extensive areas. It is centered on very attractive territories that have undergone important socioeconomic changes. The management of recreational areas much be designed accordingly, e.g. on a “territorial basis”. Our trips will thus provide opportunity to stress out the multistakeholder character of the management processes.

Participants are invited to bring good walking shoes (easy walking) and to be dressed for outdoor activities. We will meet at the parking bus (within Bordeaux Science Agro facilities), a short moment after the last sessions ends. Participants will be supplied a picnic basket. Buses will bring back the participants to the BSA conference site (around 10-11 PM).

Trip 1 ("South")

Stop 1: Dune du Pilat

Known for its huge size, the Pilat Dune is also famous for the beauty and diversity of its natural environment. It is located at the entrance of the Arcachon Bay. With 2 million visitors, the fragile and vulnerable Pilat dune is the most frequented natural site in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. This is why the Syndicat Mixte is conducting a vast sustainable development project and long-term management plan within the Operation Grand Site framework. Operation Grand Site is an original French policy tool for a state subsidy approach to local authorities in response to the challenges posed by welcoming such numbers and maintaining such frequently visited classified sites.

The group will be taken in by members of the Syndicat Mixte and will receive infomation of the Pilat Dune. With accompany of local professional guides, we will then go for a walk on the site.

Stop 2: Le Teich bird reserve

The le Teich bird reserve was opened to the public in the autumn of 1972. While its focus has shifted at various points in time, its overriding concern has always been to protect the reserve’s unique natural environment and wildlife. In 1989, ecotourism became a priority for the new municipality, in partnership with the Regional Natural Park of the Landes de Gascogne.  This culminated in the opening of the Bassin d’Arcachon Nature Centre. In the French system, a Regional Natural Park is an inhabited rural area that is nationally recognised for its valuable local heritage and landscape, but also for its vulnerability. Such parks are supported by extensive sustainable development plans allowing the protection and promotion of their resources. A Regional Natural Park stands out from other protected areas not only due to the complementarity of its protection and development objectives, but also the voluntary commitment of all stakeholders. Teich Bird Reserve is first and foremost a place for members of the public who are interested intaking a closer look at the natural world.

After a visit to the Bassin d'Arcachon Nature Center, where information will be given, the delagates will be offered a guided tour in the bird Reserve. Supper will be taken on site.

Trip 2 ("North")

stop 1: Coastal state forests

Coastal state forests are some of the most attractive places in Aquitaine, and are home to a wide variety of recreational activities both by tourists and local people (e.g. 300.000 - 500.000 visits a year for a single site). They are managed in a multi-functional way, which takes into account the risk posed by rising sea levels. This style of management is based on innovative schemes (Beach Plan Policy) some of which have existed for long periods of time. Since 2008, the state forests of Lège et Garonne and La Teste are involved in the implementation of the “Forêt d’Exception”. Such a label was created by the National Forestry Office to highlight the territorial management of forests, i.e. based on close co-ordination with local stakeholders.

The group will be taken in by French National Forestry Office local officers and GIP Littoral representatives. We will then go for a walk in the coastal state forests where we will be presented the local recreational management strategy options.

Stop 2: Domaine de Certes et Graveyron

Domaine de Certes et Graveyron covers 395 hectares between marshland and the Arcachon bay. It was originally created in the 18th century to produce salt, then turned to fish farming in the 19th century. It consists of a vast patchwork of seawalls, fish ponds, and wetlands with abundant wildlife, attracted by the calm setting and food resources. The Conservatoire du Littoral acquired these polders starting from 1984, to preserve their natural and cultural heritage and open them to the public. Since 1991, the Gironde department General Council is responsible for this vast Domaine. The Domaine is open to the public year-round, free of charge. It is consequently very popular site, attracting 130.000 visits each year (the majority of local residents). In addition, the Domain hosts various cultural and environmental protection associations.

Participants will first stop at the Nature Centre where they will receive information about the Domaine de Certes. They will be then offered a guided tour with the staff of the Domaine. Supper will be taken on site

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