Respect to the oldest of them all!
Le Parc Naturel Régional Scarpe-Escaut carries you deep into the carved furrows of the rivers Scarpe and Escaut to breathe clean forest air in the area around the towns of Raismes, Saint-Amand and Wallers. Vast expanses of meadow and farmland, including peat bogs, plateaux, plains and valleys are also available for you to explore. This is a surprising and unexpected haven in an area better known for its industrial heritage. By foot, horse or bike in tune with the meandering local barges, travel between land and water. Find a release in the heart of this natural world, where heritage meets a countryside full of architectural delights like chapels and dovecotes. To the south, industrial heritage and mining have been preserved, the slag heaps protected and nurtured to create biodiversity and a wide range of recreational activities are on offer.
A must-see is the Mare à Goriaux, a huge water-filled reservoir just west of Raismes that was once a mining pit. It’s now home to a wide range of wildlife. You can also visit Saint-Amand-les-Eaux, the only thermal resort north of Paris, and afterwards dine at local restaurants serving dishes created from regional produce. Outdoors, there’s an abundance of flora and fauna here and, as the park shares a border with the Parc des Plaines de l’Escaut in Belgium, you’ll find a spirit of cooperation, coordination and dynamism.