Name of organisation
SPL Loire Atlantique Développement
Department 44/ Regional Council / Coastal Conservation Centre/European Funds (ERDF)
Number of staff
Number of visitors per year
About 3500 visitors since the opening (15 September 2014)
Overall aims of the centre
The Maison du Lac de Grand-Lieu aims to develop scientific knowledge about Lake Grand-Lieu and the wetlands of the Loire-Atlantique Department.
This mission is mainly carried out through the initiation of scientific studies, the animation of a network of actors and researchers, the popularization of this research among the public through conferences, scientific production (articles, reports, exhibitions,…) and documentary monitoring.
Another objective of the Maison du Lac is to raise awareness among schoolchildren and the general public through thematic outings related to the characteristics of wetlands.
Description of the centre
We are located in Loire-Atlantique, in Bouaye to be precise, a town located 15 km from Nantes. The Maison du Lac de Grand Lieu offers a three-step tour: a visit to a permanent exhibition centre, a guided walk on a path of about 1km, and a visit to a museum area located on the edge of the National Nature Reserve.
During this route, visitors will encounter different habitats (common meadows, floodplains, wooded areas, wooded reed beds, floating meadows). Lake Grand Lieu is the largest natural plain lake in France in winter, with an area of around 6300 ha. Many species are listed: 550 plant species, 30 fish species, and 50 mammal species, and 270 bird species (making it the second-largest ornithological reserve in France).
Main CEPA work area
The reception centre is a permanent and temporary exhibition centre. The themes are linked to wetlands, so visitors can access scientific knowledge through texts and entertaining multimedia installations. There is a free resource centre, a bank of useful resources for everyone. Educational workshops allow the hosting of schoolchildren on thematic days, in relation to teachers’ projects.
A website exists and can be consulted by visitors. This one informs about the different missions of the centre and contains the documents listed in the documentation centre.
Top three successes
The Maison du Lac de Grand Lieu offers guided tours by a qualified guide. These are declined in the form of adult or family visits and take the initiative to popularize scientific contributions to allow everyone to better understand their environment.
Top three challenges
Having recently opened, the main challenge is to offer visitors a variety of activities throughout the year.
Creation of signs/information on site; Production of written documents; Use of audiovisual tools; Development of nature trails
Setting up a new visitor centre; Managing / creating habitat; Running a visitor centre; Building / maintaining structures
Engaging young people; Engaging the local community
Education and communication
Early years education; Delivering adult education; Working with primary schools; Lobbying / running campaigns; Working with secondary schools; Developing resources / materials
Auditing / assessing effectiveness; PR and marketing; Project planning.
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