From 11 – 19 April 2020 the départment of the Somme (80, Picardie, Hauts de France) celebrates its annual Festival des Oiseaux et de la Nature – Bird and Nature Festival.
Whilst the Somme is usually connected with sombre moments of our history, it is nevertheless an area of considerable natural beauty – from the many “étangs” or lakes inland, to the river valley iself which snakes across the landscape – to the Baie de la Somme, the Bay where the river meets the sea with its wide sandy flats proving to be a haven for birds – you can hardly fail to see a wide selection of wildlife if you take the time to stop and look. Or take advantage of the flat cycle and walking paths which are provided in abundance. The Somme Bay covers 7,000 hectares and is also known as “the Camargue of the North”.
The Bird and Nature Festival is held every year in April, a period which is favourable for observing birds in the Somme Bay.
It is an event for the general public offering activities for the whole family over a period of 9 days :
* Guided nature rambles,
* Screenings of ornithological, animal-related and environmental documentaries,
* Exhibitions of animal art or photos,
* Children’s workshops,
* Photography and watercolour painting courses,
The Festival is the event offering the widest range of guided nature rambles over a 9-day period in France (over 200 rambles on foot, horseback, bicycle, in kayaks, etc.).
2 international competitions (a film competition and a photo competition) which are open both to professionals and amateurs, are held as part of the event.
There are just a couple of interesting villages in the area of the Bay – Le Crotoy and St Valery-sur-Somme which face each other across the sandy bay – linked in summer by a Tourist Steam Train service.
Centrally situated just a few minutes walk from the town centre of St Valery-sur-Somme in the Rue des Moulins is the up-market Hotel des Corderies which offers 11 stylish rooms providing calm and comfort. Other Hotel, B&B and self-catering accommodation in and around St Valery-sur-Somme
The area is just a short detour off the A16 autoroute near Abbeville between Boulogne and Rouen.
For more info on the Somme Bird Festival see www.festival-oiseau-nature.com