Parc du marquenterre : the ornithological park bay of somme

ornithological park baie de somme
Marquenterre Park

The most famous natural site in the Bay of the Somme is the Parc du Marquenterre, which has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located on the west coast of France and attracts those looking for an outdoor adventure as it includes many different types of terrain such as mountains with dense forests and cliffs along its coastline. Many animal species have also found refuge in this coastal conservancy. However, there are a few things you should know before visiting.

What is the history of the Parc du Marquenterre?

In the 1950s, Michel Jeanson tried to expand his agricultural estate. With Dutch know-how, he built a 200-hectare polder (land reclaimed from the sea) which later became known for its beautiful flowers - especially tulips and hyacinths, which were grown in large quantities at the time but proved too expensive in the face of competition from other countries such as the Netherlands, which had more efficient growing methods.

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In order to accommodate the birds, Michel Jeanson decided that the agricultural area could be developed. The Parc du Marquenterre opened its doors to the public in July 1973 and today remains an important place of pilgrimage where visitors come from near and far to find out what it feels like to be inside this natural bird sanctuary - which has more than 500 nesting sites!
The management of this exceptional natural heritage was entrusted to the Syndicat Mixte Baie de Somme - Grand Littoral Picard in 2003. The 200 hectares were transferred in order to protect it for future generations, thereby completing its protection and ensuring its long-term conservation with State supervision after 1994. The creation of a State Nature Reserve completed the monitoring of what had been considered a vast polder since 1986.

Where is the ornithological reserve of the Marquenterre domain located?

The Marquenterre Park is located on the northern edge of the Bay of the Somme. To be more precise, at Chemin des Garennes in Saint-Quentin en Tourmont. It is a nature reserve belonging to the Somme department in the Hauts-de-France.

Its address:

This special place is located at 25 bis Chemin des Garennes in the rural commune of Saint-Quentin-en-Tourmont. The postcode for the area is 80120.

Where to watch birds in the Baie de Somme?

The Parc ornithologique du marquenterre is a bird reserve: more than 200 species live here throughout the year. These are all wild birds, some of which are home-loving. Most are migratory, passing through for one or two months before leaving for other destinations. The following year they return, and so on.

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What birds in the Baie de Somme?

You will be able to observe the seasons, with a pair of binocularsa variety of species Snipe, Whistling Ducks, Oystercatcher, Grey Heron, White Stilt, Black-necked Grebe, Avocet. And so take yourself for wildlife photographers.

How to visit the Marquenterre Natural Park?

If you can, visit the Parc ornithologique du marquenterre on foot to better admire the fauna and flora it shelters. A horse-drawn carriage ride is also recommended for those who cannot walk for long. But whether it's by horse-drawn carriage or on foot, you can explore the area according to your wishes and your stamina.

When to go to the Baie de Somme to see the birds?

There is not really an ideal time to go and discover the Marquenterre Park. Each period of the year has its own particularity in terms of fauna, especially migratory birds. You will observe different types of birds with each passing month.

Bird park timetable

The park is open every weekend from 10am to 5pm, except bank holidays, when it will be closed. During the holidays, the site is open for a good time.

Entrance ticket to the park

To gain access to the Marquenterre site, you will need to buy tickets at the entrance at an affordable price. For children under 6, the visit is free. Ticket sales close 2 hours before closing time, at 3pm. You can also use the Parc du Marquenterre online ticket office.

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What is the best time to go to the Parc du Marquenterre?

The park still has plenty to offer all year round, whatever the season. Each period has its own particularity, so don't hesitate to drop in at any time.

Winter season

During the winter, more than 5,000 ducks are observed on the site. They perform courtship rituals and their feathers are renewed during this time.

In spring and summer

If you want to get a glimpse of bird life, the ideal time is from March to July. During this time you will see the birds building their nests. After the construction of the nests, the brooding, hatching and processing of the young birds takes place.

Autumn season, especially in October

You will find peace and quiet in the middle of nature in a unique atmosphere if you visit during September, October and November. Watch the southward migration of birds.

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