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Wetland areas, useful to everyone!

The Regional Nature Park is greatly impacted by water in all its forms, whether under our feet (drinking water, thermal spring water, etc.) or on the surface (waterways, ditches and wetland areas).



There are some 12,000 hectares of ponds, pools, marshes, peat bogs, wet grasslands and wet woodlands. Wetland areas have undergone sharp decline in recent decades, despite the vital roles they play for man and nature. This is an issue of even greater significance for our territory, since it is one of the wetland complexes at regional level, alongside the Audomarois marshes and coastal marshes.

Wetland areas have long suffered from a negative image, but are of great use to man. As natural sponges, they limit the risks of flooding or drying out of waterways and help improve water quality. They are varied environments, offering a great diversity of landscapes, fauna and flora. Reservoirs of biodiversity, they are also used for leisure activities such as hunting, fishing and hiking, as well as for economic activities, agriculture in particular.

The 20th century saw the disappearance of over half of all wetlands. And despite the realisation or "rediscovery" of their usefulness, wetland areas remain threatened by urbanisation, agricultural intensification, pollution, and certain recreational uses…

Today, great progress has been made in terms of wetland area protection, management and restoration. Within the park territory, most of the main wetland areas, which are so central to biodiversity, enjoy one or more protection certifications. They are often managed by public bodies or associations: the Natural Sites Conservatory, the Nord department, the National Forests Office, the local communes, and so on. The Regional Nature Park itself manages over 300 ha of wetland areas within its own site or on behalf of the communes.

Mare à Goriaux lake, the ponds at Amaury, Les Argales and Chabaud Latour, the peat bogs of Vred and Marchiennes, the marshlands of Fenain, Val de Vergne, Les Fiantons... It would be impossible to mention all the wetland areas, many of them open to the public, which shape our local landscape.

Although less emblematic, we should not forget the more “ordinary” wetland areas, wet grasslands used for hay or grazing, small woodlands with various levels of diversification, agricultural or ornamental ponds, pools, and so on. Their conservation, management and restoration are just as beneficial to the common good. Everyone has a role to play in their own way, to ensure that they do not disappear or lose their practical value.

Sustainable use and management of these natural spaces is a real challenge, in order to preserve their value, their future, and the many services they offer us. Urgent action is needed!



Interactive maps

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Les zones humides entre Scarpe et Escaut ont été reconnues d'intérêt majeur au niveau national.