Gaëlle, Nature guide from La Loire to La Vilaine

In the company of Gaëlle, we set off to discover a whole range of 'different species of living things' in and around the Guérande Peninsula and its various landscapes. Salt marshes, bocage and coastline, the choice is yours: so many possibilities to get into the very heart of nature.
Gaëlle, notre guide nature entre Loire et Vilaine
Gaëlle, could you tell us a bit about the CPIE Loire Océane ?

The Centre Permanent d’Initiatives à l’Environnement 'Loire Océane Environnement' is an organisation dedicated to the conservation of the environment and sustainable development. Our activities are aimed at various target audiences.

The area we cover extends from the river Loire to the river Vilaine. During our outings we broach a variety of themes such as biodiversity, water, waste, gardening, the discovery of habitats and ecosystems.
What is your role within this organisation ?

I’m responsible for educational projects: I create and lead nature walks for adults and children.
Sortie enfants Loire Océane Environnement
Which outings do you recommend to the holiday makers? 

For me, the 'not-to-be-missed' family outing is gathering shellfish on foot along the shore. This particular outing is as popular with the adults as it is with the children! I think it’s because as we gather our shellfish we get to find out what’s edible and what isn’t, we take measurementsusing a handy little gadget the 'cali-pêche'. Last but not least, we raise awareness regarding best practice and the quality of the area.

For those who are already familiar with the Peninsula I would recommend discovering the bocage. These visits are more 'hands-on', discovering an environment using all of our senses: smelling a flower, tasting a plant, touching and observing... They’re lighter on the theory content; the idea is more to arouse genuine wonder in our visitors.

Another unusual outing is 'Un soir au jardin': private owners invite us to come and discover their gardens on certain evenings after 6 p.m.. It’s an ideal way to share recommendations and 'tricks of the trade' and also to discover some truly beautiful areas which are hidden away from the public gaze.
La Pointe de Merquel ŕ Mesquer
What are your top 3 personal favourite places or things to do in the Guérande Peninsula ?

The town of Mesquer is really worth discovering, it’s beautiful. Very rich in habitats too : you’ve got the sea, the salt marshes, the bocage, ponds full of frogs, the port of Kercabellec with its shellfish breeders.

As far as beaches are concerned I would say Piriac, going towards 'La Pointe du Castelli'.

Lastly, you really have to go for an outing in a 'chaland', the flat bottomed boats in La Brière: it really is magic !
Could you give us a few tips to help us be more respectful to the environment?

- Don’t leave litter on the ground and for smokers make sure they have a pocket astray to hand.

- Why not use your bike for a change, and give the car a rest! There are lots of things and places which are easily accessible by bike and you’d spend less time in traffic jams.

- For the holiday home owners who have a garden try and look after it using natural and organic methods. Pollution of the water table is caused mostly by the pesticides and anti-moss products used by individuals. To get some tips on being more eco-friendly in your garden come along to one of our gardening workshops we have details you need in our guide 'Guide des Sorties Nature'.
Keen to go on a nature outing with Gaëlle ? Get hold of a copy of the complete guide to the workshops and outings available from our Tourist Offices !