The biodiversity supported by the ENS includes:
The changes that occur to the ENS, be they brutal (fires) or progressive (woodlands closed to the public after becoming overgrown or because of alluvial deposits or rising waters), have an impact on the distribution of the different species. Some are even disappearing from our region totally, and there is a real risk, too, of seeing ordinary species become increasingly rarer in the long term. Protecting only the remarkable biodiversity is no longer enough: It is also part of the EDEN 62’s mission to protect ‘ordinary’ nature. EDEN 62 promotes effective protection through a policy that ensures public ownership and that aims to respect the overall balances and the interactions between the species, between the different habitats and environments. Further knowledge of this dynamic vision of ecosystems provides a complementary and essential understanding of the natural heritage inhabiting the ENS.
The ENS play a particularly important role on the coastal fringe: half of the Département’s ENS are located on the coast and, thanks to the variety of habitats present, their distinctive character and their use as migratory corridors for birds, concentrate a great deal of the region’s biodiversity. The two National Nature Reserves, Baie de Canche and Platier d' Oye are two very good examples.
The ENS situated within the vast wetland complex of the Audomarois marshlands (Romelaëre Nature Reserve, the Marais de Guînes, Lac d’Ardres, Forêt d’Eperlecques, etc.) all play a major role as reservoirs of biodiversity.
The ENS situated within the mining region (slag heaps) constitute small pockets of nature inside highly urbanized and densely populated areas (300 habitants/ km ²): Terril de Pinchonvalles and Bois des Bruyères, Terril 115 de Libercourt, Terril d’Estevelles, Tour d’Horloge, Terril du 9/9 bis, etc.
This rich natural and functional heritage benefits from special status: some of the sites are listed as special areas (ZNIEFF - Natural inventory Zones of Faunistic and Floristic Ecological Interest, ZICO - Zone of Importance for the Conservation of Birds, for example) or as protection sites (National Nature Reserves; [3 out of the Département’s 4 National Nature Reserves are located in ENS, Platier d' Oye and Bay of Canche], Regional Nature Reserves; NATURA 2000 listed sites, etc.)
Depending on whether they are located in more or less urbanized areas, the ENS of the Pas-de-Calais can constitute reservoirs of biodiversity. They can be exceptional in terms of their rich natural heritage or their biological diversity, and can act as biological corridors, i.e. spaces of transit for many remarkable as well as ordinary animal and plant species.
At a regional level, they form part of a wide-ranging review on conservation that has been turned into reality by the current*i Regional Plan for Ecological Coherence, which aims at ensuring that our natural heritage is properly included in spatial and town planning.
The natural heritage is mainly made up by the landscapes of our Département (the geology, the architecture of the built heritage, as well as the management policy are other important aspects). It shapes the Département’s identity, at the scale of each of the territories, and may, for this reason, be protected: the slag heaps are listed as UNESCO world heritage sites and other sites are recognised.
In a highly man-made and urbanized environment, nature plays a social role, offering inhabitants and tourists spaces to breathe, even to relax. The opening of the ENS to the public is an integral part of their role, avoiding the need to wrap nature in cotton wool but finding the right balance between conserving natural heritage and granting access to the public (except for particular cases: fragile or dangerous areas where public access cannot be possible).
Nature, whether it is ordinary or remarkable also has a role in helping to manage increasingly common problems, such as flooding, soil erosion, rising waters, etc. Preserved spaces can act as "buffer" zones.
ENS policy therefore constitutes an effective planning tool in various ways: conserving and making beneficial use of our natural heritage, enhancing our living environment and landscapes, etc.
EDEN 62 is committed to conserving our natural heritage and, with 20 years of experience in the Département, has responsibility for managing 59 ENS. This commitment includes the recording of flora and fauna and monitoring work performed by the wardens, the operation managers, and all the partners involved.
Information collected over the reference period 2000-2010, representing more than 209,000 pieces of data, provides insight into more than 3,000 animal and plant species, including 10% of the remarkable species, distributed across the different sites acquired by the Département.
The dunes, the slag heaps, the woodlands, wetlands, grasslands and the heathlands form a mosaic of habitats that promote biodiversity in all its forms.
The reference report, “État des connaissances de la biodiversité des espaces naturels Départementaux du Pas-de-Calais (2000-2010)”, records a complete assessment of our natural heritage for each of the different groups: Natural habitats, Fungi, Flora, Insects, Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds and Mammals.
This “Essential Facts & Figures” guide gives an outline of the challenges faced by each of the major types of natural environments.
The importance of ENS for local biodiversity is clear for the remarkable species, but they are also important for the more “ordinary” species, which contribute to the quality of the ecology, landscapes, and natural water resources in the Département. The preservation of our natural heritage not only requires conservatory management, entrusted to EDEN 62, but also the protection of the natural exchanges between the different ENS. It is in this aspect that, the green and blue belt network initiative, which has now become a priority in spatial and town planning, takes on its full meaning: the green and blue corridors must ensure the natural inter-connections between the different ENS.
Finally, through its public events, Eden 62 invites the population to walk along the pathways that it maintains to discover this exceptional heritage; with the hope that tomorrow’s guided visits will offer even more species to see.