The Meuse is covered by 2,300 square kilometres of forest, around one third of its area, offering a really good chance to seeing lots of wildlife.
You will often come across a deer on the edge of the woods, or hear a wild boar in the thickets - in the clearings, there's a good chance of glimpsing a fox off hunting.
How can you resist the belling of the stag in the Autumn deep in the Massif d'Argonne or the Hauts de Meuse?
You will have to be looking carefully to surprise the marten, the squirrel, the rabbit and the badger, and look even more closely to find the traces of the bat.
The skies of the Meuse are not to be outdone for well-informed observers - there are plenty of birds on the wing: the kite battling with the crow, the gliding hen harrier on the lookout for food, the kestrel with its surprising turns of speed, the marsh harrier merging into the landscape. There are lots of other birds, more difficult to spot, including the jay, the woodpecker amongst the foliage, the tufted duck and the great-crested grebe on the water.
Lovers of botany will not be able to resist the pleasures of observing the flora of the Meuse. Its great diversity is part of the rich ecological environment which you will find here.
Hedges have their hawthorn and brambles; in the orchards you will find the Mirabelle plum, of course, but also apples and other plums; lakes have reeds and bulrushes, and limestone meadows have their share of orchids.
Oak trees, wild service trees, beeches and wild cherry trees add to the richness of our forests, and their branches find their way to the hearth when winter arrives.
Our look round would not be complete without mentioning the gourmet mushroom-hunter, for whom the ceps, horns-of-plenty and chanterelles are treasures whose locations are a jealously-guarded secret.
Two establishments take you out to explore the flora and fauna:
THE CONSERVATOIRE DES SITES LORRAINS
Public outing: naturalist explorations with equipment provided, telescopes, hand-held magnifying glasses, butterfly nets, shrimping nets, local guides...
LIGUE DE PROTECTION DES OISEAUX (birds' protection league)
Discovery of nature and the ornithological habitat of the Meuse valley at Mouzay. Exhibition, conferences focussing on nature and its protection. Outing accompanied by naturalists. Loan of telescopes. Duration of outing: from 3 to 4 hrs.