The Grand Hazé Wetlands reserve

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Remarkable biodiversity!

The largest wetlands in the Orne

Located in the Houlme region in the heart of the Normandy bocage, the Grand Hazé is a 200-hectare landscape of ponds, peat bogs, reed beds and bog woodlands.
The marsh is home to a rich, original and often very rare flora and fauna. It is the Orne’s leading bird breeding site, with 170 recorded breeding species.

Sheltered in the observatory, you may catch sight of herons, coots or great crested grebes. But if you drop by in spring or autumn, you’ll find migrating storks, egrets and ospreys. In spring, the irises in bloom light up the ponds with their brilliant yellow flashes.


In the heart of the marshland, you’ll find an amazingly rich biodiversity which is home to over 1,500 species, many of which are protected. The wet meadows and marshes are teeming with dragonflies, grasshoppers, crickets and frogs.

Along the Breuil trail, you may come across other, more surprising animals: Camargue horses and Highland cattle responsible for grazing and maintaining the marshes.

The Wetlands can be explored by two trails

Accessible from Briouze and Bellou-en-Houlme, the two new trails take in this vast 200-hectare area via raised pathways and footbridges, that safeguard the marshland plants and animals.
The Breuil trail is a 4km round trip and is open all year round
The 6.5 km marsh loop takes you around the marsh. It is open from 15 April to 15 October.

Parking is available at the observatory car park in Briouze and at the Longrais car park in Bellou-en-Houlme (between Briouze and Bellou-en-Houlme) from 15 April to 15 October.

Practicalities: Depending on the weather conditions, some sections of the trails may become very wet so bring suitable footwear. It is compulsory to stay on the marked paths and respect the tranquillity of the area.


 61220 BRIOUZE