With 34 sandy beaches, Destination Royan Atlantique is a coastal territory, close to nature. All along the Côte Sauvage (20 km), the dunes shelter a singular ecosystem. Vegetation is particularly vulnerable to it. This coastline, ideal for walking, offers a unique panorama between ocean and forest.

Coastal dunes, a fragile environment

Our territory is home to all the stages of the dune:

  • embryonic dune
  • white dune (mobile)
  • and finally dune gray (fixed).

Each of these states is home to fauna and flora adapted to extreme conditions: salt spray, wind, temperature, rare fresh water... 

 The different types of dunes

La embryonic dune is the part located on the top of the range. It is thus the most exposed to the onslaught of the ocean and the wind. This is where we find the foreshore, formed by the different tides. It serves as a haven for birds. It also allows some halophilic plant species to develop: sea purslane, dune spurge, maritime cakilier... 

Behind, the level of the dune rises, it is la white dune. It is the upper part of the dune cord, recognizable by its vegetation mainly composed ofmarram grass. Although these plants with deep roots make it possible to fix the sand, the white dune is mobile because it is subject to the vagaries of the wind. 

Further moving away from the beach towards the land, we finally find la gray dune, so called because of the color of the plants that grow there. Mosses and lichens make up a significant portion of this low lawn. Succeeds him wooded dune which plays a major role in the fixation of sands. It comes from the artificial afforestation of the dunes in the XNUMXth century.e century.

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Wild Coast Dune

An ecosystem to preserve

This dune ecosystem particular is considered a habitat with high ecological stakes on a European scale. It is classified in zone Natura 2000. The main threats to this very dynamic environment are of human origin: beach cleaning removing the sea lines, overcrowding, trampling, traffic on the dunes, pollution... But they are also natural: sea currents, storms and more generally the climate change. There Wild side is one of the most mobile coasts of France. For example, the sector of embellished beach has retreated 160 meters in the last 7 years. The decline of the Grande Côte beach is also impressive. The forests protecting our territory against natural erosions are the first line of defense as well as the dunes, white and gray.

Concerned about the preservation of this natural heritage, conservation systems exist. First, theinstallation of fences channels the public and limits the trampling of the most sensitive areas. Second, the creation of refuge areas for fauna and flora. And thirdly, the accompaniment of the sectors where the dune increases naturally. These devices are important. Indeed, the trampling of the dunes leads to the crushing of the plants which fix the sand and stabilize it. This phenomenon thus accelerates the erosion of the dune belt.

The Interrupted Plover, a protected species

The dunes are home to many species (birds, amphibians, insects, etc.) sensitive to disturbance. This is particularly the case in spring and also in early summer when the breeding season is in full swing. And also in winter when the birds are full of energy in preparation for their migration.

One of the flagship species of our dunes is le interrupted collared plover. The Côte Sauvage welcomes 30% of the Charente population at the time of reproduction, between April and July. This hope "in danger" is on the Poitou-Charentes red list of breeding birds. This status is explained by its mode of reproduction: the plover makes its nest directly on the sand! Thanks to a healthy coastline, he finds shelter and shelter there, in particular thanks to the sea lines, made up of natural debris deposited at each tide, the collection of which must be avoided. These sea lines are notably at the source of the dune formations. Everything is therefore connected!

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