Picardy (French: Picardie) is a historic region in northern
France that is now within the departments of Aisne, Oise, Pas-de-Calais, and Somme.
Amiens was the region's capital.
On Picardy's fertile soils they grow wheat, sugar beets and
fodder crops. Dairy and beef cattle are raised, and intensive vegetable cultivation
takes place on the heavily fertilized, drained peat in the valley of the Somme River.
Between the 1990 and 1999 French censuses, the population of Oise increased at the brisk
pace of 0.61% per year (almost twice as fast at that of France as a whole), while the
Aisne department lost inhabitants, and the Somme barely grew, at a laggard 0.16% per year.
Today, 41.3% of the population of Picardie live inside the Oise département, which
historically was not part of Picardy.
From an area 30kms North of Paris, close to Roissy
Charles de Gaulle airport, the Southern boundaries of Picardie stretch eastwards towards Champagne and the Belgian border. Westwards, the
region extends to the English Channel.
This ancient region will not disappoint visitors. With its 4,000 hectares of
lakeland, 1,200kms of rivers, 70kms of sand dunes, mighty cliffs and brilliant beaches to
coastal marshes, forests and bays at the river mouths of the Somme and the Authie, there
is always something for everyone to be amazed at.