In France there are around 45 National Nature Parcs in existance and in the pipeline as well as some National Nature Parcs and Marine parcs with many in the pipeline soon to become official which offer Panda gites backed by the WWF, the Parc Federation and Gites de France as well as a network of youth hostels and nature reserves cheap accomodation like Bois Joubert in the Briere
offering a single room with hot showers and kitchens for twelve Euros a night only and nature walks plus courses in cooking, ecology and activities like horse riding from the gite in the Briere reserve which hass Frances second biggest expanse of reedbeds surrounded by over three thousand thatched cottages which can often be hired for visitors to use as a base on walking, cycling and boating holidays on the waterways there with boats for hire relatively easily at a good value price or offering guided boat trips to see the rare wildlife in profusion like hundreds of breeding Black, Whiskered and occasionaly White-winged Black Terns plus Spoonbills, Bluethroats and all the European species of breeding Herons which also breed nearby in Loire estuary reserves like the Marais du Gree, Lac de Grand Lieu and other reserves nearby.
A web site at:-
allows further research of possibilities by hovering over the parc of interest on the map and clicking on the area of interest like the Alpilles on the Med
which can be reached by TGV for only 22 Euros if you buy the ticked three months in advance on the website:-
Special deals are always on offer to promote cheap travel from 80,000,000 visitors annually to France as the worlds most popular tourist destination
which is poorly appreciated by UK residents as the UK is less than half the size of France and French people keep the best secrets of wildlife holidays potential in France a secret to themselves as German visitors in particular try to book out some of the sites which are the most interesting like the Rhone delta where areas like the Crau semidesert attract many very keen German naturalists to see some stunning birds like breeding Lesser Kestrels which are intensively researched by French enthusiasts who do leading global research on the species which is soon due to spread north to the UK and already turns up occasionally as close as Ushant near the Scilly Isles but should soon attract birders to a twitch in the UK in summer when they return from Africa to breed in France and perhaps overshoot to the UK like other birds which are in healthy numbers as breeding birds in the Rhone delta.Glossy Ibis are also enjoying a booming population in the area like at Scamandre nature reserve where I was invited to help colour ring big numbers of young Glossy Ibis in the nest in the breeding season in July in the midle of a heronry with nine breeding species of Herons and Egrets in it numbering thousands of pairs of birds.Scamandre reserve has breeding Hoopoes in the wall of the reception building where you pay to use the hides just next to the entrance door which you can enter as Hoopoes fly in the hole next to the door to feed their young in the hole you could wait next to to watch the birds fly past your face!
Bertram.E.B.BREE in snowy Jersey awaiting a TGV trip to the Rhone delta in spring not far away now as we can tell with spring flowers in our front garden already and many Daffodils in flower in the fields here.