The Brière Regional Park: A wild sanctuary between land and water
Rubber boots – check. Binoculars – check. Ready for some serious birdwatching? Yes! Welcome to the Brière Regional Natural Park and its 40 000 hectares of marshland!
Yldau of course is an expert in hiking (well, hitchhiking…), but our two city-based travellers still looked a tiny bit out of place in the vast watery wilderness of the Brière.
The Park (officially designated as such in 1970) is recognised internationally for its unique biodiversity.
Its partly inundated wetland – where water lilies and yellow irises mark out pastures for Shetland ponies – is an important breeding and resting site for rare and threatened species of birds. And the otter!
The park, one of the European protected areas of the Natura 2000 network, has become a favourite destination for nature lovers, people go there to spot rare birds and have a fun day or two exploring the labyrinth of canals and islands with a special flat-bottomed boat. In fact, in winter, when the water level is a lot higher, most parts of the park are only accessible by boat.
Our travellers were led on their hike by Florence and Julian who are both involved in the park’s management. They told them about how important it was that the tourism in this protected area is sustainable.
As our travellers experienced, even the animals have to follow the rules: a crab crossed their path and was immediately picked up and put in a box by Julian: it doesn’t belong here, he explained.
A bonus when you visit the park: starting from July 2018 a specially developed app will become available to guide you and even help you recognise the plant and animal life.
What if, all of a sudden, you could change your perspective and see the bigger picture? That's what we aimed at during this week through Austria and Slovakia: we cycled, flew(!), and walked around urban and nature landscapes, and took our exploration skills to the next level.