Time stands still when you’re in the Baie de Somme..
It’s hard to describe the sense of release, it’s as though nature takes back control. You’ll forget all your worries in the face of our vast and beautiful landscapes.
Our very best photos may be a feast for the eyes but they’re nothing like the real thing.
Let’s try to describe these special moments.
Here and now, you can sense nature and feel naturally connected to it. Nature sets the tone… to the beat of the high and low tides. The wind blows, the skies are never the same. The sea runs wild and the high tides put on a real show. Or else it’s calm and still.
You can hear a steam train whistle in the distance. You can feel the sea spray on your face. The birds glide majestically, you can even see storks in the bas champs (lower fields). Seals dive into the water or laze about on the sand dunes down there. This is when you become a particle in this balance.
Crossing the Baie
At high tide, the fishing boat, pleasure boat, canoe, pirogue* and more leave the port. Seals make the most of it to fill up on fish. Migratory birds are steered by the wind and come in to land.
At high tide,
The water ripples back and forth bringing pebbles with it. They roll, bang together and gleam. This mad dash has meant man has been able to use their high silica content for over 100 years for all kinds of things: road signs, primer, concrete, resin, glue, earthenware etc.
At low tide,
Rockpoolers are in their happy place at low tide: mussels, cockles, brown shrimp, samphire and all kinds of shellfish and plants to pick. Stretches of sand are revealed for just a few hours so nature guides can go on a walk across the bay. At the same time, the flock of unflappable salt marsh sheep graze in the “mollières” plains.
The tides also control hunting from lookout posts.
The tradition dates back to the Middle Ages. Back then it was a way to feed the family.
This form of hunting is still very much part of the local culture and brings the seasons to life. It’s a way of life. The hunter has to be truly devoted to nature.
Sheep - F.Leonardi
Que ce soit en baie ou dans les marais de la vallée de la Somme, la période de chasse et sa pratique sont réglementées et contrôlées.
Whether you’re in the bay or marshes in the Somme Valley, hunting season and its practice are regulated and monitored. Depending on the season, the hunter will put a lot of effort into the structure to house all these wild birds in the best possible conditions. Encourage and protect their nesting, clean their habitat and beaches, repair and plan decoys, maintain natural areas: cut, trim, saw
It’s all part of managing the setting properly
En baie de Somme, chasseurs et protecteurs de la nature oeuvrent pour le même combat : protéger la nature et ses espaces.
Hunters and nature protectors fight the same battle in the Baie de Somme: to protect nature and its areas.
Did you know that Michel Jeanson founded the Marquenterre bird reserve? This nature lover was also a hunter in the 1970s.
Then our elders founded other reserves such as the Baie de Somme nature reserve, Hâble d’Ault, Grand-Laviers.
That’s our secret, we locals have nurtured our close relationship with nature for generations. It’s part of us, it’s so deep that it comes naturally, it’s our source of balance.
That’s the secret we want to share with you.
So come to the Baie de Somme: experience it, smell it, look at it, touch it… go with the flow and, most importantly… let go.
*these 2 boats set off from Saint Val 2 hrs before low tide to reach Le Hourdel with the downdraft then return with the tide swell bolstered by the current again.