© Lézard Des Murailles (podarcis Muralis) | A. gloux. Département de la Manche

The sensitive natural areas of the county

THE SENSITIVE NATURAL AREAS OF THE COUNTY

Permanently attached to the preservation of its heritage, the county of La Manche has a policy to actively protect open to the public “sensitive natural areas”. This policy voluntarily allows the maintenance, adaptation and public access to public natural sites with strong heritage value.

The site of Regnéville-sur-Mer

With an area of 8.5 hectares, these zones of wetland prairies bordered by limestone walls were acquired by the county of La Manche in 1993 and 1994. The site is managed by the Syndicat Mixte Littoraux de la Manche (SyMEL).

 

The fauna and flora of the wetland prairies

In the middle of these prairies there are three ponds, fed by water trickling from the junction of the Montmartin limestone and a more impermeable rock, the conglomerate of Hyenville. These wetland areas are home to a rich fauna such as the Great crested newt, the European tree frog, dragonflies and other aquatic insects. The flora also possesses some remarkable species including the Yellow water lily (Nuphar lutea) and horned pondweed (Zannichellia palustris).

The boundary walls

One of the particularities of the sensitive natural area of Regnéville is the presence of stone walls over 1.5 kilometres in length, which border all the zones. They shelter a specific flora and fauna that adapts and changes sometimes even on the same wall, depending on the side facing the sun or permanently in the shade. Follow the shady side of a wall and you will easily recognise small bracken – the Common Polypody (Polypodium vulgare). On the sunny side, the Wall Lizards (Podarcis muralis) are easy to spot.

 

> Why does the Wall Lizard prefer the sunny side of the wall ? 
Answer : Because the lizard is cold blooded animal which regulates its body temperature through sunlight.