Tadpole Trail 1.8 km

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9 Avenue de la Libération
62340 GUINES


1- As you leave the parking lot, take the decked path in front of you. The first sign indicates that you have arrived at the Marais de Guînes-Eden 62. Continue straight ahead when you come to the first crossroads. You can stop for a moment in front of the second sign, which lists the species found in this natural area! Another hundred meters or so and you’ll come to the first pond on your right. In spring, you’ll be able to see the frail flowers of the Marsh Hottonia, a plant species that is rare in the region, but very present in the marsh.

2- Follow the planking and turn off at the end of the pontoon bridge on your right: you’re in the heart of the pond. You’ll probably see or hear coot or moorhen. Retrace your steps and leave the wet woodland behind. The reeds take precedence over the trees: the reed bed surrounds you. You walk along the ditch on your right, where frogs and dragonflies are not uncommon. At the end of the ditch, you come to the Rivière à Bouzat.

3- You’ve come to a block of white marble. Take a few moments to study the landscape in front of you: fields and crops, small woods and hillsides. This will give you a better idea of where the groundwater in the Guînes marshes comes from.

4- On your right, on the horizon, you can see the former hunting lodge, now inhabited by bats. The sign will introduce you to the fabulous world of these flying mammals. Continue along the Rivière à Bouzats. On your left, you’ll come across wet meadows known as megaphorbia. They are mown every two or three years. They are rich in plants, insects and birds.

5- Continuing your walk, you can admire the Highlands cattle in the wet pasture on your right.

6- You arrive at the entrance to the bog wood: the pyramid in the middle of the decking introduces you to the inhabitants of the marsh and their habitats. Here, the trees have their feet in the water all year round: admire the alders and birches. The vegetation and its roots form a thick but unstable raft on an expanse where liquid predominates: welcome to the trembling marsh.

7- Continue on and enter an observatory, where you can watch moorhens, ducks, coots, swans, herons and the metallic kingfisher!

8- After crossing the last wet wood, you’ll come to a pontoon bridge over a pond! If you lean over carefully, and with a little patience, you can observe small fish, freshwater mussels, eels and sticklebacks living among the aquatic plants… After the pontoon, turn right to reach the parking lot.

Until the early 20th century, the Marais de Guînes was used for grazing and peat extraction.
Nowadays, it’s ducks and frogs that bring the place to life!
On this walk, you’ll discover an exceptional array of flora and fauna.