|> Geographical situation
> Natural habitats and rare species
> The Ain : an undeniably valuable heritage
|> Lasting commitments
> Restore and manage nature around the Ain
> Make better use of the area surrounding the Ain
> Inform the public
With its varied, perpetually changing natural environment, the powerful River Ain modifies its course over time. Few rivers in Europe still enjoy such dynamics, which is what makes the Ain so original !
These dynamics are the reason for the incredible diversity of the natural habitats found around the Ain River.
Example : the evolution of the Ain between 1945 and 2000
(click on the photos to enlarge them)
the Ain river flows freely in a wide gravel bed. The diversity of the environments is optimal and balanced. Man's intervention is limited to some grazing on the grasslands and the collection of wood.
The river has moved, leaving behind dead branches known locally as "lônes". It tends to cut into the gravel, reducing the width of its bed. Forest has developed to the detriment of the gravel beaches and grasslands. Grazing on the grasslands has been abandoned, which has left the way open to scrub growth. The forest has spread and aged. The site has become more agricultural and urbanised.
In 1945, the diversity of the types of environment was optimal - by 2003, the majority of the land was covered by woodland and the grasslands had retreated considerably in favour of scrub growth