| ||Guérande, Gwen Ran, which means the “white country” in Breton, has been salt country for a thousand years. Over the centuries, the “people of the marsh,” known as the “paludiers,” have transformed the coastal mudflats into a center of salt production. This development is particularly sound environmentally since it puts natural elements to use: the sun, the sea, and the tides. The 12,350 acres of Guérande salt marsh now form a vast unaltered area in the face of the gradual concreting of the Atlantic coast. Protected under different agreements (ZNIEFF, Ramsar Convention, and so on), the salt marshes provide a peaceful haven for many birds. Nearly 180 species take refuge here, six of which are protected: the little egret, Eurasian spoonbill, marsh harrier, pied avocet, common tern, and the bluethroat. Far from only a protective territory, this combination of man’s careful work and nature’s beauty has created a remarkable cultivated landscape.
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