Grand Site de France Les Deux-Caps Blanc-Nez, Gris-Nez
Cap Blanc-Nez is a protected site in the Hauts-de-France region. Its majestic landscape welcomes numerous visitors who come to experience the dizzy heights of its impressive, fragile chalk and marlstone cliffs. One of the issues facing the managers of this Grand Site is how to welcome visitors in an immersive yet respectful manner.
© Eric Desaunois
"An immense spectacle" wrote Victor Hugo when he discovered this strip of chalk at the end of the world. Today, it is still an exceptional place that the local population and the millions of annual visitors discover in wonder. However, it took the fight of a handful of men to avoid the worst, such as the construction of a nuclear power station on Cap Gris-Nez in 1960, so that this area could be preserved and maintained. Their struggle was recognised on 29 March 2011: the 23 km of coastline between Sangatte and the Pointe de la Crèche received the Grand Site de France label, awarded by the Minister for the Environment for the quality of the preservation of the site and the reception of visitors. Public acquisition of remarkable areas, renaturation of the site, landscape requalification and visitor facilities have considerably improved the state of preservation of the site and the quality of the visit. Remarkable for its history and the diversity of its coastal landscapes, alternating cliffs, dunes and wetlands bordering a colourful agricultural mosaic open to the comings and goings of container ships and the chalky cliffs of England, the Grand Site de France is an invitation to discover a living and moving territory.