Landes is an area that is as beautiful as it is fragile. Its endless beaches, high dunes and pine forests form a delicate ecosystem whose balance must be preserved if it is to remain the paradise it is today. Here are some of the tips and information provided by the Tourist Offices.


Respect tidal zones

The deposit line is that accumulation on the beach of natural remains or debris: shells, seaweed, dry bones, wood, pieces of plastic, fishing nets... deposited by the waves. These deposits play a fundamental role as a fixing agent of biodiversity: they allow the feeding of many animals - insects and invertebrates of the beach, birds... - and the development of a quite specific vegetation. The line of deposits contains a whole life at the base of the food chains that are essential for the marine life of the coastline. It is important to leave this natural waste where it is. The massive individual collection of wood, shells and other natural debris endangers this fragile ecosystem.

Cigarette butts, our responsibility

Cigarette butts are a real catastrophe. It takes more than 10 years for the cellulose acetate that makes them up to decompose. The filter contains several thousand chemicals, some of which are quite toxic to the environment, and a cigarette butt thrown away or buried will inevitably end up in the ocean or in the stomach of a fish.

To avoid this pollution, many Tourist Information Offices have provided us with very practical itinerant ashtrays for the beach, ecological cigarette butt collectors installed in the territory to recycle them, or we can simply put them in the containers available at the entrance of the beaches.

No litter on the beaches

Gone are the dreadful beach litter bins that read "Clean Holidays"! Many beaches are now free of litter bins; they are located outside the beach area.

Let's respect the beaches together: let's not throw anything into the water or on the sand, let's keep it, let's take it back and sort it and put it in the right containers.

Containers for marine litter are at our disposal before accessing the beach (out of season). Let's take an active part in the preservation of our natural spaces.


106 km of coastline
38 supervised bathing areas (approx. 20 km)
Consistent cleanliness since 1991
13,500 m3 of waste collected, on average, per year
12 sensitive km cleaned by hand all year round
1.85 million euros per year
7.5 jobs per year
9.5 jobs per year in summer period


Aluminium can

100 to 500 years

Plastic bag

100 to 450 years

Plastic bottle

100 to 1000 years


100 to 500 years


10 years


The dunes are fragile. Waves are not the only cause of the retreat of the dune cordon; winter storms, but above all trampling, are clearly responsible for this worrying weakening. If we cross the dunes in disregard of the prohibitions, we cause a major destabilisation of this fragile environment. In addition to the destruction of the vegetation, our passage creates a path for the wind to enter with force, accelerating a process that can become irreversible.

Protecting the dune means protecting biodiversity and the fragile dune behind it, fighting against the advance of sand on the land, limiting marine erosion and preserving a first shield against the effects of large tides.


The Landes forest is the largest in Western Europe. Nine-tenths of it is devoted exclusively to the monoculture of maritime pine (Pinus pinaster), but in the centre of this pinhada (pine plantation in the Gascon dialect of Occitan), there is a natural forest. There, pines coexist with other species, mainly oak, alder, birch, willow and holly. This mixed temperate forest is more frequent along watercourses, where drainage is particularly good.

However, this monoculture of conifers leads to the sterilisation of the topsoil by the systematic leaching of nutrients from it. At a certain depth, the soil is hard and impermeable. Compared to other forest types, forests composed solely of conifers have very little biodiversity.

This is why it is so important to take extreme care and precautions when in the forest. The disasters of 1950 and 1960, when fire devastated more than 300,000 hectares of forest, must not be repeated.


First production forest in France
632,000 hectares
67% of the territory wooded
87% of maritime pines
90% of private forests
10,000 direct jobs

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