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Le Parc Natural Regional du Vexin Francais

A few kilometres to the North of Paris, the French Vexin is a huge rural land area with a stunning range of natural and cultural heritages that have attracted painters for many years and is still the same landscape as that of over a century ago.

But like many places all over the world, this area in France is faced with problems including pressures from urbanisation, tourism and infrastructure projects, which could end up destroying this landscape in just a few years, yet the local authorities and the national government have now introduced a program to halt this process and are aiming at reversing this as well.

Parc Vexin Francais

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Le Parc Natural Regional du Vexin Francais

The regional natural Park of French Vexin was founded in 1995 so that it could preserve the nature and protect the architectural and cultural heritages of this area in Paris, Ile de France.

Today there is at least one listed historical monument in each municipality and it has gathered buildings of all periods since Neolithic times and set against a rural backdrop, even today attracts impressionist painters to visit the area.

The villages have still kept with the traditional agricultural activity of the region and the characteristics of Vexin housing made from clay, stone and lime, are the gathering of the villages around square-shaped farms.  Walls also often link the houses or other buildings as well and these have become known to life within the homes rather than on the streets.

With a wide variety of buildings such as wash houses, pigeon lofts and windmills plus fountains and roadside calvaries, this area provides numerous sites for the tourist to admire from times gone by.

The Vexin cross which dates from the Monolithic era can be seen in lots of different places and was chosen as the symbol for the National Park as this is symbolic to the area.

The landscape of Le Parc Natural Regional du Vexin Francais is varied from fallow land to marshes, meadows to woods and moors and it is this harmony between nature and humans that has existed for thousands of years being one of the reasons why the Park was set up.

The slopes along the River Seine are a great place where numerous different insects and other wildlife can be seen along with over 400 different species of plants.  Also, many rare vegetable species, which originated from the Mediterranean region, can be found on the hillsides. 

You can also spot a wide variety of birds with many migratory birds coming to this area every year and in the marshlands you could also spot some very rare birds and insects, which is also another reason why the Le Parc Natural Regional du Vexin Francais has chosen to preserve these wetlands.

You may also be surprised to learn that around fifteen percent of the National Park is covered with woods and forests with the most common trees being oak, birch and chestnut trees.

The French Vexin has always been devoted to agriculture and one of the National Park's aims is to support these farmers and encourage them to be environmentally friendly to this unique area.  Not surprising considering there are around 400 farms!

There are numerous different tours that are available, with marked routes for ramblers, educational tours, guided and non-guided tours for individuals and you can get to enjoy your hobby such as walking, horse riding or cycling holidays which are all available and get you into the real heart of the national park.

There is also a museum, called the Musee du Vexin Francais, which is also known as Ecomusee du Parc Naturel Regional du Vexin Francais Museum and it has art objects, a discovery trail even for the young children and a vast amount of information about the region and its history.

So if you love nature or feel like exploring, then this is a destination that easy to get to and will enchant even the youngest in your family.

Le Parc Natural Regional du Vexin Francais

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