Espaces Nature de Tours
Hôtel de Ville 1-3, rue des Minimes, Tours, Centre
Phone: +33 2 47 21 64 68 - Fax: +33 2 47 21 68 49
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Espaces Nature de Tours
There are numerous Natural spaces at Tours, spread all across the city: areas for rest, recreation, leisure, quiet walks, hobbies, discovering the environment, all just a few minutes from the city centre.
The ecological and landscaped restoration of these “oxygen parks”, true to their origins, has allowed Nature into the city, ensuring equal access to all the districts in the city, and consolidating the vital functions of greenery in developed areas:
  • Embellishment: nature in the urban and suburban environment,
  • Health: this natural inheritance airs the city,
  • Psychological aspect: vegetation plays a calming role (allotment gardens for example)
  • Social function: space for meeting, exchanges and entertainment.
Tours and the Touraine region are known as “the garden of France” (4 flowers awarded)

5 Varieties of Natural spaces at Tours
1. Gardens of historical interest
  • Le Jardin Botanique (Botanical gardens) (5 ha) with arboretum, water features, swans, tortoises, flamingos, ducks, tropical & medicinal plant collections wide variety of mature trees, children’s playground, educational activities.
  • Le Jardin des Prébendes d’Oé (5ha) with water feature, varied mature trees, bandstand, concerts, now inscribed on a historic monuments protection order.
2. “Extensive” Parks
  • Park de la Cousinerie (20ha): succession of lawns and woodland borders, a wetland, a grove of mature trees (over 150 years old), lake, play areas, picnic tables.
  • Parc de Sainte-Radegonde (15 ha) many rare varieties planted on a floodplain, with children’s playground, sports grounds, an animal park (including roe deer). Educational activities and games
  • Park Honore de Balzac (24 ha): located on a man-made island on a flood plain, accessible by pedestrian footbridges. The banks have a variety of different trees. Children’s play-grounds, football and bicycle circuits, Animal Park with lamas, black sheep and goats. A canoe-kayak area with a passage for migrating fish is in project (on the Cher by the Island H. of Balzac).
  • Parc de l’Ile Simon (4 ha): on a natural island in the middle of the Loire, in the heart of the city. One can reach it foot but also by a traditional boat service. Play area for children, skate-board facilities, contemporary work of art - the colourful “Pata”, replica of the salmon traps of the north of Sweden. It is a nesting place for the birds of the Loire and a great educational resource.
  • Parc de la Gloriette (40 ha at present-120 ha in the long term): located on a high risk flood plain of the river Cher. It includes an experimental kitchen garden for organic vegetables, with irrigation by wind mills, a “wind” garden, a forest adventure circuit high in the trees (poplar plantation), children’s play area focussed on the elements: water, wind, earth and sun. A meadow management scheme is in action, with mown and rough cut zones, with the maintenance of the meadows and the improvement of the existing hedgerows. Many educational resources, events and theme days, cultural activities, compact golf course. Canals and garden circuits are planned. The park house can be used for workshops and events. 30 hectares will be dedicated to organic agriculture. It is for this park that Tours decided to adhere to FEDENATUR.
3. Riverbank walks & promenades
  • Promenade de la Rive Droite de la Loire. On the right hand, northern bank of the Loire – the last natural river of France and inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, a (8 km) walk with access via a series of original stairways along the quay. Valorisation of the natural, typical riverbank vegetation (Berteroa, annual plants) and the sandbanks and beaches. Educational resources related to the Loire: river flora, fauna, river works, alluvial deposits…
  • Promenade du Petit Cher, restored for its wealth of flora and fauna, a branch of the river Cher (6km). Varied vegetation along the length of this walk.
4. Peri-urban Forests
  • Forest Park Larçay les Hates (300 ha-400 in the long term) one part with dominant deciduous trees, another with conifers and trees from the Landes. Vast natural lawns, moors, many water points, meadows and ponds including one with protected species, old trees favourable for the presence of insects, rich presence of small mammals, a tribe of forest deer, arboretum.
  • Bois de Montjoyeux, de la Bergeonnerie et de Grandmont (50 ha) : The forest management plan of these sites, which constitute almost a park, is under revision. Interesting flora, mature trees, invite the discovery of nature.
5. Lakes
  • Lacs des Peupleraies (20,5 ha with water dominating), located near the Cher on a flood plain, they form, with the grassy areas which accompany them, a privileged site for the practice of sailing or canoeing, relaxation and fishing contests. Essentially, the educational resources here are naturally related to the presence of water.
  • Lac de la Bergeonnerie (36 ha including 19 ha of water): similar to the Lacs des Peupleraies except that here there are also ideal areas for jogging.