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Gites and Cottages with Pools in the South Vendee.
poitevin is the largest of the three area of Marais (marshlands) in the Vendee.
It is what is left of the Gulf of Pictons before it was drained by the
Benidictine monks. In Roman times some 10 rivers drained into the gulf
,but today it is just the Sevre Noirtais, the Cure and the Lay rivers that now
exit into the atlantic.
Three Depatments, The Vendee, Deux Sevres and
Charente-Maritime all have areas of the Marais Poitevin which is the second
largest marshland in France covering approximatly 0.5% of the land mass of
The marshland which can be divided into three parts, the Wet
marshes(Green Venice or Venice Vert), the Dry marshes and the salt marshes has
over 200km of canals
Picton in Roman times
in the 13th Century
from their abbey at Maillezais which was built in 1005 on the site of a ruined
chapel were responsible for all the early drainage work and they had great skill
as is evident by the aquaduct that was built between 1654 and 1662 on the
completion of drainage work on the marshes around Vix
Anse de L,Aiguillon which once merited the name gulf consists of 5000ha of
mudflats, a stopping off point for migratory birds and now a National Nature
There are three distinct regions within the marais, the upper reaches
of the Sevre Niortais and Vendee rivers more commonly refered to as the Venice
Vert or Green Venice where tourism along with farming in small fields
with tree lined canels. A very attractive part of the marais.
section, the largest area mainly devoid of trees where agriculture is in
control, though within this area there are several nature reserves and areas of
common land which belong to the communes and can be freely grazed. These areas
measure between 100ha and 300ha and in total there are some 2000ha of grazing
The final section is that beyond the drainage control zone, a land of
salt marshes and mudflats, washed at high tide by the sea and gradually silting
The Marais Poitevin is on of the richest natural habitats in France.
There has recorded over 250 species of birds of which 130 nest in the marshes,
44 species of mammals, 23 species of amphibians and reptiles, 322 species of
fish and over 700 species of wild flora. It attracts naturalists from all over
following lists some of the more interesting sites and features of the Marais