Flora and fauna

In Salles and its surrounding area we find the largest continuous forested area of Europe, consisting mainly of pine trees and pillow moss. It was planted in the 19th century to stimulate the local economy, but now offers the protected regional nature reserve of Landes de Gascogne. The forests supply remarkable fresh air, making the area also much beloved by people suffering from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).

Squirrels and many types of birds can be seen every day and deer regularly abide on the Villa Park. To prevent from wild boar from entering, the whole park has been surrounded by a perimeter fence. On one side the Villa Park is flanked by the river l’Eyre, which gives an extra impulse to the local flora and fauna. Through a gate in the fence the river can be reached by people staying on the Villa Park.

Parc naturel regional des Landes de Gascogne

On the border of the departments Gironde and Les Landes, between the Bassin d’Arcachon and Mont-de-Marsan, we find the nature reserve des Landes de Gascogne. The area contains the river valleys of the l’Eyre, le Petite l’Eyre and le Grande l’Eyre.

De triangular area of this nature reserve used to be a dried-up inner sea, with barren soil, unattractive for habitation. During the 19th century a large scale project saw pine trees planted, with the goal of giving an impulse to the timber industry.

Covering an area of 300.000 ha, these pine forests are considered the largest forested area in Europe. The area is still sparsely inhabited. Inside the park 41 small municipalities are located with a total of only 60.000 inhabitants, including Salles.