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A preserved environment

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Normandy offers a multiplicity of landscapes

Contrasted by the region's diverse geology: by land
(« green ») or by sea (« blue »), areas of great biodiversity

A quality environment worthy of preservation

A modest region in terms of surface area: 17,589km2, Normandy is both a « coastal » and an « interior » region, both « blue » and
« green ». A quality environment worthy of preservation and contrasted by the region's diverse geology. To the west, the Armorican Massif with its impermeable bedrock, its undulations and countless rivers. To the east, the soft bedrock of the Paris Basin. The Caen - Falaise – Argentan plain bordering the Pays d'Auge, with its plateau and its blunt hillsides. The Perche is distinguishable by its yielding hummocky landscape. In the adjoining landscape, vast depressions, gently purified: the Marais du Cotentin et du Bessin marshlands, the River Dives...
The diversity of Normandy's natural heritage is authentic, endowing the region with a renowned and quality living environment on an indisputably « human-scale ». Its dominant characteristics: the juxtaposition of trees and fields.
Normandy is one of France's least wooded regions (with an afforestation rate of 8.5%). Normandy's forests are a medley of nuances: from the omnipresent and more or less dense bocage in Manche to the vast and renowned domanial forests: Bellême, Écouves, Perseigne and Réno-Valdieu, their equilibrium provided by the River Orne.
As a region of geological contact, Normandy offers a great diversity of biotopes.
Its potential is further enhanced by the significant land - sea association and the presence of vast bays. The ZNIEFF (Inventory of Natural Zones of Ecological Faunistic and Floristic Interest) estimates that 18% of the region encompasses significant biodiversity.
The Normandy coast is France's second longest regional coastline.
The sea is also responsible for sculpting this natural diversity, offering low, sandy foreshores, rocky coasts, chalky cliffs and marl, curiously fashioned by erosion.
Normandy's flora comprises approximately 1,650 taxons (species and subspecies).
A tenth of the region's flora is of regional (170) or national (38) interest, concerned flora being listed as preserved species. Regional flora includes three endemic species from central Manche.
As far as avifauna is concerned, despite the presence of certain common species, the region is home to other, localised populations such as the black-legged kittiwakes and fulmar petrels of the Bessin cliffs, or the European white storks of the Cotentin peninsula marshlands and the River Dives. During the winter, birds nesting in other French or European regions stopover in Normandy in propitious habitats, the foremost of which are the coastal and interior wetlands.
Collected in 2002, the inventory of mammal distribution counts 76 species, although most of them indigenous, certain species have immigrated: there are 57 land species and 19 marine species.
Normandy's fluvial heritage is exceptional with rivers covering some 18,000km. The Norman rivers' biological wealth is characteristic of the region's natural heritage and is symbolised by salmon which, to reproduce, swim upriver on many of the region's waterways (the River Séé, the Sélune, the Sienne, the Vire and the Orne) or by sea trout (the River Touques). Such wealth is also expressed in the great diversity of fresh water plant species, insects and other aquatic invertebrates. Normandy is home to the Mont Saint Michel Bay and the Cotentin-Baie des Veys marshlands, two internationally renowned wetlands, recognised by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and listed in its List of Wetlands of International Importance.

  • Liesville-sur-Douve
  • Brouillard sur les marais du Cotentin
  • Faune et flore de la baie d'Ecalgrain
  • De Champeaux vue sur la baie du Mont-Saint-Michel
  • Etang de la Herse à Bellême