The Domaine du Rayol also comprises 14 hectares of marine habitat. There is now a permanent exhibition at the Maison de la Plage which will give you an insight into this unique environment.
The coastline: a complex environment
The coastline is a complex environment which is subject to great stresses and strains. Imagine living at the sea’s edge all year round: the almost constant battering of the wind, the burning sun, the salt, etc. The forms of life which grow in this environment need plenty of courage!
The sea’s influence can be felt far from the sea itself; even so, several rare species of plant manage to grow here. Each of these has evolved by adapting to the constraints of their environment, for example by growing towards the wind or by covering themselves in hair. These plants possess more than one secret weapon when it comes to self-protection!
The Mediterranean shallows: a biodiversity ‘hotspot’
The Mediterranean shoreline is often defined as one of the world’s biodiversity ‘hotspots’. Scientists estimate that almost 60% of species here are habitat-specific, and almost 20% are threatened with imminent extinction. This is partly due to the great variety of habitats in the Mediterranean shallows. At the Domaine du Rayol there are rocky shores, sandy shores and Neptune grass beds; each of these different habitats contains a remarkable diversity of animal and plant species.
The DPM (Domaine Public Maritime – Public Maritime Zone), entrusted to the Domaine du Rayol Association and described as the garden’s 11th landscape, is living evidence of the natural wealth contained in this environment.
A whole world that needs protecting
This exhibition aims to raise awareness of the incredible capacity to adapt demonstrated by marine species. Using the examples of Neptune grass and other iconic species, it describes their characteristics, how they have adapted to their environment, what threatens them, etc. and informs us about the appropriate actions that can be taken in order to protect these areas from the results of human impact.