Nature Centre and Nature Reserve at Lilleau des Niges and Maison du Fier
The Maison du Fier (named after the Fier d’Ars Bay) and the Nature Reserve Lilleau des Niges, under the management of the Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux, extend a warm welcome to you from the Ile de Ré.
THOUSANDS OF BIRDS …
The Ile de Ré, with its salt marshes and the Fier d’Ars mudflats is right on the path of a major migratory artery for many Western European bird species, through which pass large numbers of chiefly northern birds. A compulsory stopover en route between the Arctic and Africa, Ré is an ideal observation post, where over 350 different species have already been identified (that is half of all European species).
… ALL YEAR ROUND
During the nesting season, the marshes are home to rare species such as the elegant avocet, black-winged stilts, redshanks, terns and the common nightingale, a real marshland treasure.
Winter sees the Fier d’Ars become one of the top ten sites in France for sheer volume of water birds (40,000 individuals). Among the waders, Brant geese, the sandpiper, the black-tailed barge, the Eurasian Curlew, elegant avocets, Eurasian Oyster-catchers and silver plovers are the most frequently observed, forming spectacular sights especially when large flocks take flight.
During the spring and autumn months, tens of thousands of migrating birds make a stopover on the rich mudflats of the Fier to rest up and stock up on food before continuing on their long haul flight.
A DISUSED SALT SHED TRANSFORMED INTO A MUSEUM
The LPO, custodian of the Nature Reserve at Lilleau des Niges since 1980, very quickly started designing educational activities for the general public at large and children particularly.
Adjacent to the Nature Reserve and conveniently linked by a cycle track, a disused salt storage shed overlooking the old port des Portes has been given a new lease of life. Jointly owned by the Conservatoire du Littoral (coastal conservation organisation), it is now the site of the Maison du Fier (under local council management of the Communauté des Communes with events provided by the LPO), gaining the status of Nature Centre bestowed by the departement of Charente-Maritime.
The exhibition entitled « Ré île nature », at the Maison du Fier introduces you to the flora and fauna of the island. Here you will get to appreciate the richness of the surrounding marshlands, coast, dunes, forests and villages and you will begin an amazing trail of discovery, full of fun and surprises … for all the family.
This facility links up with the network of Nature Centres within the Charente-Maritime area, the communities of Portes-en-Ré and l’île de Ré combined, offer an invaluable opportunity for visitors to the area to learn about the natural heritage and traditional culture of the ‘white Ré’.
La Maison du Fier provides an audio guide in English which translates the main features of the exhibition.