Audomarois Marshes, St Omer
Looking for holiday information within 1 hour's drive of Eurotunnel Le Shuttle?
After being classified as a National Nature Reserve at the end of 2008, the Romelaëre wetlands around St Omer was awarded the RAMSAR label (given to wetlands of international importance) for the rich diversity of animal and plant species it contains. Since time immemorial, people have lived in these 3730 hectares of land and water, spread over 15 communities in the Pas-de-Calais and North departments.
The Audomarois marshes are today the only remaining cultivated wetlands in France, with around forty market gardeners working 440 hectares of land. Although it produces fifty different vegetables, it is particularly well known for its delicious cauliflowers (5 million heads grown per year) and succulent endives. Tilques carrots, soil-grown endive and the large green artichoke of Laon all have the « Parc » label. It has an abundance of plant and wildlife within a marvellous ecosystem: 300 species of plants, including one third of France’s aquatic plants, 210 species of birds observed in the last 20 years…
Nature park, accessible to all visitors
The National Nature Reserve in Clairmarais, formerly a prime source of peat which was cut right up to the end of the 19th century, is now a mosaic of lakes and rivers providing a perfect setting for a pleasant walk. A number of trails have been devised to be accessible to all visitors, whether they have hearing or sight disabilities or reduced mobility; the trails include listening points and a bird-observatory. Special signs and aids (plaques in Braille, life-lines, studded paths) have been installed all along the trail as well as bench seats.
The unspoilt scenery and tranquillity of the place have attracted tourists for many years. But it is by boat that the wetlands can be seen at their best. Visitors have a wide choice of craft at their disposal: canoes, rowing boats, motor boats or launches offering guided tours.
Find out more about the Saint Omer Region on www.tourisme-saintomer.com
Office du Tourisme de la Région de Saint Omer
4 rue du Lion d’Or
62500 SAINT OMER
Tel: +33/3 21 98 08 51
Fax: +33/3 21 98 08 07
Getting there and around
The Audomarois marshes are today the only remaining cultivated wetlands in France.
Just a 45 minute drive on the motorway from Eurotunnel's Calais Terminal.