7 great ideas to (re) discover nature during the holidays!

Finally ! Summer is here and with it … vacation and leisure. To get the most out of nature at your resort, France Nature Environnement offers you 7 courses of action and numerous resources, which are especially offered by several associations of the movement. The program is up to you.

Go for a week of immersion during a “nature” camp for your kids … or for you!

Many structures in France offer “nature” summer camps that allow children and teenagers to discover the riches of nature at their own pace: landscapes, trees, flowers, fauna, insects, etc. These stays often combine discovery walks, observation and listening times (plants, stars, birds, etc.) and activities in and with nature: sports, play, construction, crafts, evenings and reading, stories, etc.

Here are some examples of structures that offer this type of stay:

This type of stay is also available for adults. You will definitely find what you are looking for on the internet by typing “adult nature” into your favorite search engine.

For budding naturalists as well as for the most experienced, know that there are also naturalists. If you live in Mayotte, the association Les Naturalistes de Mayotte offers some years of research trips to Madagascar.

Experience wonderful natural places near you

Our planet is full of breathtaking landscapes. But why fly to distant destinations when France offers an extraordinary variety of natural landscapes accessible by train, bus or carpool? From the green hills of Normandy to the rocky mountains of Savoy intersected by vast valleys, from the sandy beaches of the southwest to the enchanted forests of Brittany that pass through the hidden bays of the Mediterranean … It is a sure bet that you have not yet discovered all the corners of our country of natural areas.

The many nature and protected areas that are open to the public offer activities for all families every year. Explore for a day nature reserves, regional nature parks, national parks, sensitive nature areas near you or your resort!

Spend a green night choosing a responsible business

Once you have found your holiday destination, why not choose accommodation in the heart of nature ? Cottages in the trees, nights in a bivouac in the woods, a guest house overlooking the valley … For example, the association Amis de la Nature France offers a selection of refuges, campsites and cottages peacefully located in a beautiful corner of greenery. By looking a little, you will definitely find your happiness in being able to enjoy the beauties of nature as soon as you wake up.

Also take the opportunity to favor environmentally responsible housing. To help you in your search, platforms like La Clef Verte, the Accueil Paysan network and Gîtes de France list campsites, lodges, guest houses, atypical accommodations or even hotels that have chosen an environmentally friendly approach. Several of them are labeled by the European Ecolabel (lists of labeled accommodation and campsites). If you are more into hostels, you can consult this small selection of the most organic.

4. Visit animal shelters

Do you like animals? Cats, dogs, donkeys, pigs, cows, chickens … There are dozens of shelters in France that collect injured or abandoned animals and treat them. The association L214 shows them on this page and most offer tours, sometimes by appointment. Do not hesitate to interrogate yourself to discover the places for an afternoon. These shelters most often offer to sponsor or even adopt an animal. They also often look for volunteers, for a day or several weeks. Why not combine business with pleasure by helping one of these getaways during your vacation?

Book a nature excursion for a day!

Explore the waterfalls of Alsace, go on healthy walks to discover the birds of the Côte d’Armor or even sail on the waters of La Luce in the Ardennes to discover its secrets … Wherever you are this summer, there will necessarily be an excursion nature in the corner.

Supervised by professional educators and naturalists, nature excursions will allow you to explore corners rich in biodiversity, discover all the species that characterize them, observe and listen to birds, follow an educational trail or even learn to identify edible and medicinal plants.

You will easily find these nature excursions online at dedicated sites and agendas. They are also generally listed in tourist offices. You will be spoiled for choice to find the nature excursion you like!

As examples, here are some sites that show these nature excursions:

There are also some dedicated applications for smartphones:

  • In Sologne: with the La Sologne nature version application developed by the Sologne Nature Environnement, explore ponds, rivers, meadows and forests and discover the region’s incomparable natural richness.
  • IN PACA : with the Rando Rivières application developed by FNE PACAdiscover the points of interest, the ecological problems, the workers on the river and their uses, the restoration work, etc. during your entire hike!
  • In the Pays de la Loire: several of our associations also offer fun and interactive walks using the Baludik application
  • The GuidiGO application also shows fun and interactive walking routes to discover the natural heritage

And of course, the traditional walks in the woods, hiking and biking are all opportunities to explore the nature around your resort.

6. Test one of the 1001 activities that nature offers for everyone AGEs

Create a small insect hotel, create musical instruments from materials found in nature, make a herbarium, build a cabin in the woods, learn to recognize animal footprints, go hunting for small animals … have a thousand and one idea to keep you busy in the nature.

Here is a non-exhaustive selection of books and websites to help you find activities for the whole family:

Take advantage of the observations made with your children in nature to contribute to the many participating science programs in France! For example, with the Spipoll program on pollinating insects (bees, butterflies, etc.). They are all listed on the portal OPEN.

You can also take advantage of the summer to read a book and update yourself on ecology: follow the advice from FNE Isere!

7. Pick up trash wherever you are!

“Collection of waste, the new chic”. The article, which was published in 2018 in Expressen, is still relevant. Yes, despite the appearance, the activity can be pleasant: Nothing beats the feeling of having been useful to the environment and having helped to make it a little more beautiful!

On the beaches you can find tidal bins or “clean beach bins” that have been made available to rid the sand and sea of ​​the waste that is still far too present today. In recent years, some have regularly shared their “harvest of the day” on social networks.

Many waste collections are also offered during the year, such as the Ocean Initiatives organized by Surfrider Foundation Europe, or the actions offered by the association Les Mains Dans Le Sable in Morbihan. A global event, World Cleanup Day, will also take place on September 17, 2022.

The RunEcoTeam initiative, born in January 2016 in Nantes, is also a worldwide success with its “1 run = 1 waste” campaign. the principle? Take a walk and take the opportunity to pick up rubbish along the way. Sweden has even taken a new word for this practice: plogging, a contraction of “jogging” and “plocka upp” (“pick up” in Swedish).

And since to avoid picking up waste, the solution is not to produce anything, so consider limiting yours. Do not forget the “zero waste essential” in your suitcases: a recyclable bag for shopping, a water bottle to avoid plastic water bottles, soap, shampoo and solid deodorant, makeup remover cotton pads (or cloths) that can be washed, an oriculi no longer to be found cotton swabs in the seas on the beaches, etc. A non-exhaustive list!

On vacation, too, open your eyes and share your observations!

Become a guard in nature! Who has never encountered wild landfills or other environmental damage and wonder how and to whom to report them? It is now a game, thanks to the Sentinelles de la nature site and the application, developed by FNE Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (formerly)FRAPNA) and FRENCH, then by France Nature Environnement. With a few clicks, you can report environmental degradation and directly inform the associations of the France Nature Environnement movement.
It is also possible to share initiatives that are beneficial to the environment so that they are better known and reproduced throughout France. Already more than 20,000 Sentinels!

I become the Sentinel of nature

Operation Hedgehog! Take part in the European hedgehog census campaign: a historical symbol of the France Nature Environnement movement, the European hedgehog has followed us in all our struggles since 1968. Protected since 1981, it is still relatively unknown. Faced with this finding, FNE 25-90 launched in 2018 a comprehensive census operation in Doubs and Territoire de Belfort to better understand and better protect this little mammal. Today, the whole is connected to the service of its totem animal throughout France.

I discover Operation Hedgehog

It is only left for us to wish you a good holiday!

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