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 Plan et accès

The Western coastline of the Manche, from the Cap de Carteret to the Bay of Mont-St-Michel, is particularly distinctive because of its eight harbours : Barneville-Carteret, Port-Bail, Surville,Lessay-Saint-Germain-sur-Ay, Geffosses, Blainville-sur-Mer, Regnéville-sur-Mer and Vanlée.


Harbours are effectively marine enclaves within a mainland environment.

 

The characteristics of these estuary formations play a major role in the area’s landscape: from their dimension, their flat outlook, their colours and their unspoilt nature.  Local environmental specialist, Eric Neuville, gives an excellent definition of "harbour" in his book about the Manche’s natural environment published by Ouest-France: "the original flow of water which started the harbour gradually pierced through the barrier of sand dunes allowing the tidal waters to get in, flooding large areas, and thus transforming the harbour mouth into a vast saltmarsh".

An array of halophytic plants can be found in the harbours, as they easily withstand seawater.  The slikke (muddy area which gets covered daily by the tides) is particularly good for samphire or sea cucumbers (a gourmet’s feast) whilst sea lavender (limonium vulgare) grows easily on the salt meadows: they are both protected by a law which prohibits anyone picking them.  The two harbours of Saint-Germain-sur-Ay and Geffosses are within our district and covered by the conservation zone of "Natura 2000".



At Saint-Germain-sur-Ay sheep graze tranquilly in the salt meadows, overlooked by the guard room which has protected the harbour since the 17th C.  At Geffosses the harbour is part of a maritime hunting preserve, which will eventually benefit from a bird observation hide and a discovery trail with information boards.