Marshland flora & fauna

The Guérande salt marshes are extraordinarily full of life. The shallow water allows light to reach to bottom of the ponds, warm the clay and favour the development of plankton, which is the vital foundation of the food chain in the marshes.

This large supply of food, combined with a mild climate, makes the Guérande site a favourite over-wintering and reproduction site for birds, (bluethroats, spoonbills, godwits, terns, marsh harriers, black-winged stilts, elegant avocets, stints, barnacle geese,...). Over 280 species of migrating birds follow each other to find refuge here every year.

Statice, fennel, sea purslane… The plant life is hugely varied and colourful on the banks surrounding the ponds, including that strangest and best-known of the halophytic plants: glasswort, which grows in the salty mud for the pleasure of gourmets.

The glasswort

This plant grows in the salt water of the marshes and is well known for its diuretic and gastronomic qualities.

The young shoots can be prepared in vinegar, like gherkins, or eaten cooked like green beans.