Make sense of... France's national parks

Cartoon of two hikers on a hill with maps - and ducks

FRANCE has 10 national parks – and there are plans for two more, with one in Champagne and Burgundy opening in 2019.

As in Britain, they are all in inhabited areas (this is in contrast to, for example, the US, where national parks are often in wilderness areas).

The parks have a special status meaning they are granted extra protection for their outstanding natural environment. One of the effects is that hunting, picking (berries and mushrooms etc) and fishing are strictly limited and building and traffic are very much restricted.

The scientific interest of the area’s habitats, fauna and flora is emphasised more than developing tourism. However, enjoying the parks respectfully, with activities such as hiking – and in some parks, mountain biking and horse riding – are ...

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