Biodiversity in the Marshes of the Île de Ré
The salt marshes of the Île de Ré are a rich ecosystem
Created from the sea by building a series of dikes across the tidal flats, these salt marshes are entirely man made. They are an incredibly rich ecosystem.
The fertile waters of Fier d’Ars bay and the nutrient-rich soil of the clay soil that lies under the water give the Île de Ré its incredible biodiversity.
A favourite spot for French birdwatchers
The marshes are also home to plenty of birds and small animals.
Located along one of Europe's main migration routes, the Île de Ré is a stopover for hundreds of thousands of migratory birds travelling between the Nordic tundra and the African savannah.
The claire salt ponds at La Ferme des Baleines are part of the Île de Ré's natural heritage, serving as an internationally important overwintering location for migratory waterfowl. La Ferme des Baleines is home to rare and threatened nesting birds, including the Eurasian Hoopoe.
Characteristic Flora of the Île de Ré
The geometric, compartmentalised landscape of the salt marshes is home to a characteristic set of plants that includes samphire, sea lavender, alexanders, and black mustard.
At La Ferme des Baleines, we have wild samphire growing on the banks of our salt ponds alongside annual sea blite and sea purslane. These plants are halophiles, thriving in salty areas.