The Marquenterre Park – Saint Quentin en Tourmont
This natural reserve, which belongs to the French « Conservatoire du Littoral » (the equivalent of the National Trust in the UK), covers a surface of 250 hectares (600+ acres) at the southern tip of the dune area, on the shore of the Somme Bay.
A resting and feeding place for migrating birds, the park offers visitors a choice of several discovery circuits, featuring observation posts from which the avian fauna can be watched unobtrusively in its natural environment.
More than 360 species of birds have been observed in the Somme Bay.
The Marquenterre Park accommodates the only French colony of white spoonbill, and the fifth largest colonies of pied avocet, black-headed gull and sandwich tern.
In winter, more than 7,000 ducks of all species spend the winter on the site.
In summer, 26 species of shorebirds (godwit, curlew, sandpiper…) can be observed resting at high tide.
More information: www.Baiedesomme.fr
The « Maison de la Baie de Somme »
A place for understanding, seeing and hearing the Somme Bay, its evolution, its flora and fauna, and in particular its colony of seals.
Things to see:
- Reconstitutions of several Picardy coast landscapes, staged with sound, displaying more than 250 species of naturalized birds
- A hunting hut.
- Ponds where typical damp area species can be observed- Permanent showing of films: the Somme Bay, cliffs and shingle.
Exhibitions, conferences and educational workshops are organized around themes related to fauna, flora, shingle, and seals. Visitors can register for nature hikes.
More information: www.Baiedesomme.fr
The Caudron Brothers museum - Rue
This museum tells the story of the Caudron brothers, who were pioneers of aviation.
It all started with a mare…
In 1908, Gaston and René Caudron got down to work: one drew the plans, the other built a shed, a carpenter gave them a hand, and the first Caudron aeroplane was born: a large biplane, all wood and canvas. Two motors were ordered, but were not delivered for quite a long time. So long, in fact, that the two brothers decided to attempt a motor-less test flight: Luciole, the farmer’s mare, towed the aircraft, which took off and flew in a straight line over a few hundred meters. This was the spring of 1909.
Incredible popular success
Things then began to move quickly: in early 1910, the brothers built the Caudron Brothers aeroplane factory in Rue and produced a new prototype, this one fitted with a motor! The machine flew successfully in April 1910: a 10km return flight between Romiotte and Forest-Montiers. The show was on, Gaston et René took their pilot’s test and opened a flying school on the beach at Le Crotoy to provide money for the factory, which soon employed up to 50 workers.
Beyond the borders of Picardy
From their beginnings to 1914, the Caudron brothers built 20 types of aircraft, 100 aeroplanes in total: biplanes, seaplanes, amphibious machines… Very soon, they were regulars on the circuit of air meetings, exhibitions, competitions, and soon achieved fame. The Caudron Aircraft company was called upon by the French Navy, the Ministry of War and even… the Chinese government, which ordered a squadron of 12 two-seater aircraft in 1912! When WWI broke out, the Caudron brothers were actively involved: they had opened a military flying school as early as 1913, handed over to the State the licence for their G3 aircraft, transferred their factory at Rue – threatened by the enemy – to Lyon, and opened another plant at Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris. The G3 was a perfect training aircraft, thousands of aspiring airmen learnt to fly on it and the machine played its part in the Great War. However, research work continued and it was while testing a new model, the G4, that Gaston got killed on 12 December 1915, near Lyon. The Caudron adventure continued, with René alone at the controls. The company went on to build many types of military and civilian aircraft, and its success was marked by numerous records and challenges: in 1919, Jules Védrines landed on the roof of the Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris; in 1921, Adrienne Bolland flew across the Andes in Chili; in 1936, Hélène Boucher broke the world female speed record over a distance of 3km, reaching 445 kp/h. In 1933, Caudron became Caudron-Renault, and a different story began, far from the Somme where René Caudron was buried in 1959, in the small cemetery at Rue, next to Gaston who was far more to him than just a brother.
Plus d'infos : www.rue-baiedesomme.com