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Activities guide to the Massif Forestier de Mervent-Vouvant

In south-Vendée where the rivers Mere and Vendée converge lies a hilly forest of some 55 square kilometers called Le Massif-Forestier de Mervent-Vouvant. It consists of accessible private and public domain and contains nine villages: Mervent, Pissotte, Bourneau, L’Orbrie, Foussais-Payré, Saint-Michel-le-Cloucq, Saint-Hilaire-des-Loges, Xanton-Chassenon, and Vouvant – one of France’s most beautiful. The villages are mere dots, leaving 5519 hectares of dense forest featuring beautiful hardwood trees. Whether it’s your first visit or your fiftieth, as soon as you step foot beneath their canopy and lay eyes on meandering brooks sounding like little bells, and the abundant carpet of wildflowers, realization will strike that this forest exudes something absolutely magical. Whether you live in the Vendée year-round or like to visit with the seasons, these woods hide a plethora of activities to please the solo adventurer, the athlete, and the whole family. Use images below (and the UP arrow) to easily navigate our guide, or scroll through. A brief …

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Safe and sustainable mushroom foraging

Mushrooms are beautiful and mysterious organisms that live mostly as a mycelial mat in the soil. The functional structure we see growing above ground is the reproductive, spongy structure that grows by soaking up water and disperses spores. Mushroom hunting is a beloved autumn activity in France, one that without the proper knowledge can be dangerous  and also destructive to future harvesting. The etiquette of mushroom picking – That there are (or should be) common sense rules when it comes to the harvesting of food resources in the wild, we don’t only mean that when it comes to identifying edible mushrooms some knowledge is required. It also means leaving something for the next person that comes along… A courtesy that runs so much deeper than what’s right in front of us. In 1833, the British economist William Forster Lloyd wrote about the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’, a citation that to this day …