Whether you are a sportsman or simply a nature lover, the forests become places of relaxation. They are also real playgrounds. It is also aboutnatural spaces sensitive, refuges of remarkable fauna and flora.
The forests of La Coubre and Combots
The north of our territory has a vast wooded area of 6 ha accessible to the public including the 4 ha of the La Coubre national forest and part of the Combots d'Ansoine forest.
From our history as from our tales and legends, a local expression has survived: “the dunes are advancing in Arvert”. There is a grain of truth in this. In the Middle Ages, the monks deforested the land, which led to the displacement of the sands inland. Much later, in the XNUMXth century, trees were planted to slow down this advance. This is how the national forest of La Coubre was born, the largest in Charente-Maritime. It benefits from several classifications testifying to its importance: protection forest, Natura 2000 area, Sensitive Natural Area and Natural Area of Faunistic and Floristic Ecological Interest.
It extends between the municipalities of Les Mathes-La Palmyre et La Tremblade Ronce-les-Bains. It mainly consists of maritime pines, adapted to difficult conditions (salt spray, sand, dry climate) and also to holm oaks. Despite the apparent monotony (on the surface) of the forest landscape, it is home to many animal species: deer, roe deer, wild boar, and protected plants.
Its neighbour, the Combots d'Ansoine forest stretches from the marshes of Saint-Augustin to the coast of Saint-Palais-sur-Mer. Ownership of Conservatoire du Littoral, it has similar fauna and flora and is subject to identical classifications.
The forest of Suzac
To the south of Royan, the forest of Suzac extends over the municipalities of Saint-Georges-de-Didonne et Meschers-sur-gironde. It encircles the limestone cliffs which dominate the Suzac beach. Covering an area of 350 ha, this ancient forest is highly biodiverse.
Unlike the La Coubre forest, the plantation of maritime pines is very localized here. It was the State that launched it in the middle of the 50th century to fix the dunes. The pine then spread naturally, in particular on the vines abandoned at the end of the XNUMXs, to the west of the massif.
The succession of different afforestations favored the establishment of a very diversified flora and fauna. Near the coast, it is the maritime pine who dominates. Further back, it mixes with the Holm oak. Finally, near the marsh, in the locality of Compin, there are pubescent and pedunculate oaks dating from the XNUMXth century. This environment, on the old forest floor, is home to rare beetles dependent on decaying wood. There are also bats and trunk birds that find food and refuge in the old trees.
Nearly half of the forest is protected by the Conservatoire du Littoral, which has been pursuing a policy of acquiring land considered as sensitive natural areas (ENS) since the 80s.
Summer or winter, theNational Forestry Office (ONF) work to preserve la biodiversity of these forests, to maintain the trails, to collect wood or to welcome the public while respecting their natural rhythm.