The marshlands of Vigueirat in Camargue

When viewed from the sky (here from the south, the Rhone is visible in the background), the marshlands of Vigueirat appear as vast mosaics of open water, marshes and reed beds. The straight dikes keep all the memory of the imprint of man.

Administrative information

location : mediterranean coast, Rhone delta, Camargue
departement : Bouches-du-Rhône (13)
town: Arles - hameau de Mas-Thibert
area : 958 hectares
altitude : -1 tp + 1 metres
landowner : Coastal conservatory (Conservatoire du littoral)
management : The conservatory gave the site management to the Friends of the mashlands of Vigueirat (phone +33 4 90 98 79 40). They teamed up with WWF France and the city of Arles for that work.
information : open from 1rst February to 30th November, 10am-5pm
phone +33 4 90 98 70 91 - fax +33 4 90 98 79 80
e-mail marais-vigueirat@espaces-naturels.fr site web site www.marais-vigueirat.reserves-naturelles.org
access : private

natural environment

The change in salinity enables a diversity of natural habitats, creating a mosaic of Mediterranean wetlands, ranging from more salty environments (sansouïre) to softer ones (reedbeds)

permanent and temporary marshes - presence of the largest protected reed bed of Camargue (250 hectares). Forests along the canals and roubines, tamaris wood.

protections

The site of the marshes of Vigueirat has been certified for its biologic richness through different levels (see the page of the natural site for an international level)

geology

Recent sediments laguno-marins and fluvio - lacustrine seat on durancian pebbles and gravels.

rural sustainable development

a project which relies on :

A strong social heart

- Maintenance of old agricultural activities :
Ranching ; 4 breeders approved for grazing horses and bulls of the Camargue race and sheep, 1 beekeeper,
- Creation of 40 jobs on the site,
- Developing partnerships (farmers association insertion, CPIE, tourism businesses, hunters)
- Working method: dialogue and agreements (Natura 2000, LIFE bittern, Life PROMISE, agri Measures)
- Cultural programs (Festival of Envies-Rhônements, Festival of Camargue, Festival of Souths… )

A program of environmental education

- 3000 local schools come every year,
- formations BTS / IUT / universities / engineering schools

The creation of a tourist attraction center 15 km of discovery paths ( stilts, observatories, guided tours on foot and in a carriage),

- 20 000 visitors in 2006,
- objective : 100 000 visitors in 10 years.