Nature and discovery walks


Réserve naturelleWEB2

This exceptional heritage, continuously maintained, invites you to a wonderful rendezvous with nature…

A large diversity of flora and fauna                                                                     plus the presence of remarkable species

To the south of the Caps et Marais d’Opale regional natural park, the baie de Canche nature reserve covers part of the right bank of the river of the same name. An ensemble of two habitats defines this classified 505 hectares site. On the one hand, the estuary, where the river meets the sea, is a place of rich and extremely diverse life. On the other, the dunes rise like natural barriers. The most numerous in the reserve are the coastal dunes, built by the wind in the Middle Ages and stabilised by vegetation that has established itself there over time. The dunes nearest to the sea only rise a few meters and are prey to the wind that constantly shapes and moves them. But the most spectacular are the dunes that straddle the chalk cliff, covering part of the plateau to a depth of almost 30 meters of sand.

Thus, between sand and water, remarkable local wildlife and flora constitute an astonishing richness. The floral interest lies in a succession of more than 600 plant species identified. Among the rarest, we distinguish Liparis Loeselii, an endangered orchid, the dune pansy, real treasure of the region, and the round-leaved wintergreen.

On the wildlife side, the nature reserve shelters mammals such as wild boar, roe deer, badger, fox, weasel, squirrel, dormouse and sometimes the harbour seal. Amphibians are well represented with four species of newts (northern crested, alpine, smooth, palmate), the natterjack toad, the green tree frog… avifauna is a real richness of the reserve with a significant population of nesting birds that colonise the dunes to reproduce such as the sheldrake, nightjar, woodlark the common redpoll, accompanied by many sparrows. The site is a stopping-off point for tens of thousands of migratory birds, including, among others, the bar-tailed godwit, grey plover and chaffinch. The woodcock is the typical winter visitor, not forgetting some merlins.

Walks in the baie de Canche national nature reserve

The baie de Canche nature reserve is open to the public. Thus, by taking the footpaths, you can immerse yourself freely in an amazing natural environment.

A nature leader also organises outings for 2 to 3 hours, for everyone – from budding naturalists to simple nature lovers – that require no significant physical effort and are intended, above all, to be enjoyable and entertaining. Adults and over 12 years: €4.

Walks-2024 :

  • Saturday February 17 at 9 a.m.: Nature project: “wet zone”
  • Saturday February 24 at 9:30 a.m.: Birdhouse workshop.
  • Tuesday February 27 at 1:30 p.m.: Discovery of the estuary.
  • Thursday February 29 at 2 p.m.: “Shell” nature workshop.
  • Saturday March 2 at 6 p.m.: Owl Night.
  • Tuesday March 5 at 9 a.m.: Discovery of the Baie de Canche national nature reserve.
  • Thursday March 7 at 9 a.m.: Nature outing: the birds of Canche Bay.
  • Saturday March 16 at 9 a.m.: “Clean Hauts-de-France” nature operation.
  • Saturday April 20 at 8:30 p.m.: The amphibians of Canche Bay.
  • Tuesday April 23 at 9 a.m.: The seals of Canche Bay.
  • Wednesday April 24 at 10 a.m.: Fauna and flora around the port.
  • Thursday April 25 at 9 a.m.: The birds of Canche Bay.
  • Tuesday April 30 at 2 p.m.: Fauna and flora around the port.
  • Friday May 3 at 9:30 a.m.: The seals of Canche Bay.
  • Saturday May 4 and Sunday May 5: Nature and garden weekend.
  • Saturday May 25 at 9:30 a.m.: Wild cuisine.
  • Saturday June 15 at 8:30 a.m.: Operation Clean Canche.
  • Saturday June 15 at 9 a.m.: Salt meadow plants.
  • Saturday June 29 at 9:30 p.m.: The European nightjar.


Reservations and Terms:  +33 3 21 84 13 93

For an enjoyable walk, bring hiking shoes or boots and clothing adapted to the weather conditions.

Lovers of the site know what others can only testify after having walked it: the baie de Canche national nature reserve has a variety of landscapes that are matched only by their beauty! Why not see for yourself?


Tourist Office of Étaples-sur-Mer

+33 3 21 09 56 94 or by e-mail:

If you are part of an association, a club, a school… don’t hesitate to consult the Groups Service: tours can be arranged for groups on request.

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