La Brière, "the Black Country"
The Brière Regional Nature Park covers 49,000 hectares of Brière marshland, to the north-west of the Loire estuary. This iconic location in the region is less than a 30-minute drive from the Camping du Bugeau ***, and just waiting to be explored.
A land rich in nature
A land of wet meadows, reed beds, canals and thatched cottages, the Brière marshland – France’s 2nd largest area of marshland after the Camargue – is one of the department’s ecological treasures. The Brière Regional Nature Park has been safeguarding and protecting it since 1970. The Brière marshland is called the “Black Country” (for a long time peat-extraction was the main activity here) as opposed to the “White Country” (for salt extraction). The best way to explore this vast expanse with its outstanding flora and fauna is on board a chaland, a slender, flat-bottomed boat.
La Brière has over 3,000 thatched cottages, accounting for 60 % of the thatched cottages in France. The village of Kerhinet in Saint-Lyphard, a traditional village restored by the Brière Regional Nature Park, offers the visitor a glimpse of this distinctive Brière feature. The hamlet was acquired in 1973 by the Park and completely restored, forming an architectural unit of 18 thatched cottages in a pedestrianised setting. Around the wash house and the bread oven, the discovery trail tells of the life and customs of the village’s former inhabitants.
18 communes belonging to the Brière Regional Nature Park:
- La Baule-Escoublac
- La Chapelle-des-Marais