8 February 2018 – La Sure at Salagou

This is a circular walk around La Sure, one of the hills that protrude into the southern side of lake Salagou.

2018-02-08 La Sure.JPGNext Thursday is forecast to be very cold, but mostly sunny with moderate wind.

We propose a walk of about 7 km around La Sure, which is a hill on the south-western side of lake Salagou. The walk is mostly on a footpath near to the lake edge, but this goes up and down frequently as it winds past the various ravines on the hillside. The path is occasionally tricky, and may be muddy after recent rain, or icy after overnight frost. The second part of the walk is easy, and passes the western end of the lake, where there are often water birds to be seen.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The walk will start from the car park at Les Plots (after Liausson if coming from Clermont), at about 10:30. We should be back in Lodeve by 13:00.

Organiser: Andrew
Distance: ~7km, up and down, tricky in places
Bring: Warm clothes, good shoes, binoculars


7 December 2017 – Portiragnes Plage

This is a circular walk of about 9 km, all at sea-level, involving the beach, a nature reserve in marsh-land, and the Canal du Midi.

The walk this week will start at Portiragnes Plage, led by Ben, with bird-watching opportunities. The first part of the walk is along the beach, then on to a path leading through a nature reserve, where there will be good chance of seeing some interesting water or wading birds. The next leg is along the Canal du Midi, with the canal on one side and marshes on the other, then along the road back to Portiragnes Plage. It’s all flat and easy walking. Bring binoculars if you are interested in watching the birds.

As this is a fairly long walk, and a long way away, we will stop for a snack in the middle. The weather is forecast to be warmer, with some sun and not much wind.

As usual we shall meet at the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to leave at 10:00. The walk itself will start from the Tourist Office in Portiragnes Plage at about 11:00. To get there directly take the D612 (either from the A75 or from Vias past the airport), then the D37 past Portiragnes. At Portiragnes Plages turn right at the roundabout with the flamingoes decorating it, direction Plage Ouest. At the next junction, go straight ahead towards Plage Est. The tourist office is just along there, set back on the right, with plenty of space for parking. We should be back in Lodeve by 15:30.

Leader: Ben
Distance: 9 km
Bring: Snack, Binoculars

12 January 2017 -Storks at Lattes

A visit to the bird sanctuary by the Etang du Méjean at Lattes.

2012-05-10 12-50-12 cWe visit the birds at Lattes quite regularly, and this is a chance to see the winter residents and visitors. There will certainly be Storks and Herons, and we should see both Little and Great Egrets, as well as various ducks and geese, and probably Flamingos.

The walk within the reserve is completely flat, and we will cover 5 to 7 km. Bring binoculars (and telescopes?) as there are several good vantage points for observation. These do have bird identification panels, but you might want to bring a bird book as well. The forecast is for moderate temperatures and some sun, but with wind increasing in the afternoon.

Please note that dogs are NOT permitted within the reserve, so this has to be a dog-free walk.

As usual we will meet at 9:50 outside the Luteva Cinema, for departure at 10:00. At Lattes follow the signs to the Maison de la Nature, and park at the designated spot, which is about 600m before the reserve itself. We should start from the car park at about 11:00. As this is a long day, please bring a substantial snack. We should be back in Lodeve by 16:00.

Organiser: Andrew
Distance: <7km, flat
Bring: Binoculars, etc, snack. No Dogs!

Update: As well as the expected birds we saw a large (~200 birds) flock of Avocets, Black-winged Stilts and Lapwings, and a single Green Sandpiper. Ducks included Shoveler, Teal and Garganey, and we had sightings of the usual Marsh Harrier patrolling the area.

29 September 2016 – Day at the Seaside

All-day visit to La Tamarissière

While the weather remains warm we propose a walk and visit to the seaside at La Tamarissière, at the mouth of the Herault river, on the opposite bank from Le Grau d’Agde. This is a walk that we did about 18 months ago, led by Ben, though this time we will go in the opposite direction.Hérault

The walk starts from the beach car park at La Tamarissière. We walk up the river for about 2 km before setting off on a quiet road between fields and small étangs, where there may be interesting birds. Eventually we reach the Canal du Midi, and return by that and its feeder canal to the coast, and then return along the beach. The whole walk is about 9km.

This is an all-day walk, so do bring a picnic. There should be time to enjoy the beach at the end of the walk, with a paddle or even a swim! The forecast suggests that this will be the last opportunity before the weather turns more autumnal next week.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, aiming to depart at 10:00. The walk itself will start from the beach car park at La Tamarissière, at about 11:00. We should be back in Lodeve by 17:00.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 9km
Bring: Picnic, sun hat, etc.

5 May 2016 – Maison de la Nature, Lattes

All-day walk with birdwatching

The forecast for Thursday is that it will be warm and sunny, and the wind will have dropped, so we will undertake the planned walk at the Maison de la Nature, at Lattes. The reserve associated with the site extends over towards the Etang de Mejan, and it’s fresh and salt-water ponds are home to many varieties of birds of all sizes, from warblers to storks, with flamingoes on the Etang. 2012-05-10 12-50-12 c

The reserve is about an hours drive away from Lodeve, so this will be an all-day walk: bring a picnic lunch. And binoculars and bird books!

Dogs are not allowed within the reserve area. There is an area outside the reserve where dogs are allowed on a lead, and it might be possible for part of the walk to be in this area. Anyone who is considering coming with a dog should contact me directly to discuss what the options and arrangements might be.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready for departure at 10:00. To get to the reserve we go to Montpellier, follow signs to Palavas but turn off the D986 into Lattes, then follow the signs to the Maison de la Nature. There is a designated car park about 600 m before the reserve, and we start the walk from there. We should be back in Lodeve by 17:00.

The walk is completely flat, on tracks or boardwalks (no wet feet!). We shall probably walk between 6 and 10 km, depending on what takes our interest.

Leader: Andrew

Distance: 6 – 10 km

Bring: Lunch, binoculars, bird books, sun protection


10 March 2016 – Etang de Vendres

All-day walk from Vendres to the Sea, beside the Etang

This week, we propose a walk that will probably take about three hours, and it’s about an hours drive away. So bring a picnic.

We drive to Vendres, which is a small town on the edge of the Etang de Vendres, just down the coast from Valras plage.

The walk starts at “Les vestiges”, at the end of the Rue du Temple de Venus, just outside the village. We walk along the edge of the Etang down to the coast, to the estuary of the river Aude. We then continue up the river about two kms to the weir that separates the freshwater from the seawater, and end the walk there.

This is not a circular walk, so before setting out, we  have to leave one or more cars at the end of the walk to ferry the drivers of the other cars back to the beginning. While this is happening there will be an opportunity for the other walkers to observe birds on the Etang, or to have a coffee!

The walk is 9 or 10 kms, mainly flat, and on small lanes. There is one part where we would walk up about 25 metres to get a good view over the marshes. This area is particularly renowned for it’s bird life, so bring binoculars if you have them.

As usual, we will meet in the car park by the cinema at 9:50, ready to set off at 10:00. Anyone planning to drive directly should aim to be there by 11:00. According to Google Maps, a good route is to take the A75 to junction 63, then take the northern ring road around Beziers, which becomes the D64 and continues on to Vendres.

Leader: Ben