Region covered by this guide
This guide covers the central part of France, roughly coinciding with the Centre-Val de Loire administrative region. The area stretches out from Angers in the west to Nevers in the east (both on the banks of the Loire) and from Orleans in the north to Poitiers in the south. Within this region, the book focusses on four natural areas: La Brenne, Le Sologne, Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Park and Forêt d’Orleans.
The Crossbill Guide is a thorough and practical guide for naturalists and nature lovers. It offers background information and detailed routes and site descriptions, plus tips on finding and watching all kinds of wildlife. Each route offers detailed descriptions of where and how to find wildlife and wildflowers and shows you the characteristics of the landscape and geology. The book offers a mix of (mostly easy) walking routes and car itineraries with stops and short walks.
About the Loire Valley, Brenne and Sologne
The Loire valley lies right in the heart of France. It has a gentle, rolling landscape and, many castles (for which this area of the ‘royal Loire’ is famous). It also has a great natural heritage and wildlife. Amongst naturalists, the most famous part of this region is La Brenne, an area with a lovely, small-scale landscape of fields, meadows, heathlands and woodlands, plus thousands of lakes, which combined make for one of the most important wetlands of France. Nearby Sologne and Forêt d’Orleans are more wooded and have more heathlands, plus, once again, many lakes. The fourth natural area in this region is the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Park, which hosts a wide array of wild riverine ecosystems.
About the authors
Dirk Hilbers (NL, 1976), set up the Crossbill Guides Foundation and travels Europe to research the guidebooks. This is the 8th guide on which he has worked. As a biologist, when not in the field, Dirk Hilbers is a free-lance writer and lecturer in the field of nature education and environmental ethics.
Tony Williams is a nature guide and works for the LPO, the French Birdlife partner. Tony lives and works in the Brenne.