Goulaine wetlands and the Maison Bleue
Goulaine wetlands, 15 km south-east of Nantes, upstream on the left bank of the Loire river, is in the heart of the Nantes vineyard.
This registered site, part of the European Natura 2000 network, covers five communities over a total area of about 4000 acres with a flood plain of 2430 acres.
The vineyards on the edge of the wetlands, along with the extensive market gardening activities, gives a picturesque, rustic quality to the landscape
Landscapes that change with the seasons
Apart from the presence of a permanent body of water at Pont de L'Ouen, the wetlands flood regularly in winter. In summer, it dries out extensively. Among the vast grasslands and lush vegetation the “douves”, small canals become visible criss-crossing the landscape, lined with willow trees.
A conservation site
The Marais Goulaine is home to an abundant animal and plant diversity.
- European classification. Natura 2000.
- Area of Flora and Fauna Ecological Interest (SSSI) type 1
- Important area for the Conservation of Birds (IBA).
A rich natural environment
The floodplain is covered with reed species called sedge.
Wet meadows are planted with willows.
The surrounding farmland is composed of more or less dry meadows, enclosed by hedges where oak and ash dominate woodlands, ponds, ditches and thickets.
Many rare plants can be found here
Among the wide variety of plants, many of which are very rare, the great moat buttercup, the fritillary the skullcap, the marsh sweet pea, dianthus and orchids. Many areprotected and classified as being of scientific such as the marsh fritillary..
143 species of birds are present more or less regularly. The environment is perfect for nesting of rare species.
This natural wealth is linked to the diversity of environments and the peace and quiet: mallard, coot, teal, the garzelle egret, heron, night heron, marsh harrier, and reed bunting are all regularly seen.
Among the insects of the wetlands many are of scientific interest including the Southern Damselfly and butterflies, especially the marsh fritillary, a small butterfly of variable yellow colouring, with black points whose survival depends on the plant, also called a fritillary, upon which it lays its eggs.
Among the amphibians and reptiles, crested newts are classified as being of scientific interest. There are also common newts, grass snakes and green frogs.
As for mammals, you'll see hare and rabbit, deer, and water rats...
The Marais de Goulaine is the largest spawning ground for pike France. There are also eels and bitterling carp, also ranked as of interest.
At the Maison Bleue in pont de l’Ouen, you'll find exhibitions, nature trails, walking and boating tours.
The Maison bleue
The Maison Bleue is found at the pont de l'Ouen between Haute-Goulaine and Le Loroux-Bottereau, at the junction of two basins of the wetlands facing the Butte de la Roche.
It is a place where visitors are welcome to come and get information and education on the Marais de Goulaine (classes and groups, free for those from towns of the region).
It is managed by the Syndicat Mixte Loire Goulaine which includes 11 towns within the wetland basin of the wetlands. It takes care of canal maintenance, water management and conservation activities.
This is a popular place for recreational anglersand walkers. Various amenities help you the place: parking, picnic areas, toilets, public, opening hours, hiking trails, a venue for exhibitions and more - come and visit!
Walks and hikes
Three short hikes starting from the Maison Bleue lead you on a discovery tour of the site, its variety of fauna and flora. Visit our web page dedicated to hiking
The view of the Butte de la Roche offers a remarkable panorama over the two depressions which form the marshland. An orientation table identifies the church towers nearby, as well as the chateau de Goulaine and the city of Nantes.
For more information and to find the program of events and exhibitions in 2013:La Maison Bleue, headquarters of the Syndicat Mixte Loire Goulaine
136 route du pont de l’Ouen
Tel: +33 (0)2 40 54 55 50 Fax: +33 (0)2 40 80 79 61