Natural heritage

The over-800-hectare forest of Marchiennes, the Evoïches, the Pre des Nonnettes nature reserve, the great peat bog, the Scarpe and its towpaths ... will satisfy your desire for nature.


Unique state forest around Douai, it spreads over 800 hectares within the Parc Naturel Régional Scarpe-Escaut. It really constitutes the green lung of the "Douaisis".
Forêt de Marchiennes Forêt de Marchiennes  © F.CorioSuccessively property of the Benedictine monks since the 7th century, then of the State from 1793 on, this precious heritage is now protected by the National Forests Office. Its natural richness and recent arrangements make it all year long an ideal place for relaxation and discovery : hiking, ATB or horseback tracks, picnic areas, information panels describing the environment...
You will be able to appreciate multiple species of trees such as beeches, fir-trees or northern red oaks. Pay attention: foxes, weasels, roe deers, squirrels and many others live in the forest.


The leisure centre of Les Evoïches calls for relaxation and walking. You will appreciate wooded spaces, a BMX circuit, a campsite, a restaurant and most of all a lot of ponds, some of which are accessible to the amateurs of white and trout fishing.
Situated north of Les Evoïches, the nature reserve of “Pré des Nonettes” extends on more than 18 hectares. Created to preserve an authentic natural space, this meadow is noticeable for rare plants and bird protected species.
An observatory allows ornithologists to study the reserve (the public is not allowed in).


Scarpe Scarpe  © Office de Tourisme de MarchiennesMarchiennes is bordered by the Lower Scarp which stretches over 37 kilometers from Douai-Dorignies to Mortane-du-Nord. Become an important place for the river transport in the nineteenth century, it is no longer navigable on its entire length. Natural barrier helping to repel the enemy during wartimes, it was also responsible for many floods which hit the valley, making culture difficult and uncertain.

As early as the 7th century, the monks of the abbey accomplished the first dewatering and river regulations. In Marchiennes, three streams can still testify to their efforts : The "Décours", the "Courant de Coutiches" et the "Râche" dug to receive the water from floodings of the Scarpe. Between 1997 and 2000, dredgings have been done to regulate their flow and to help them fulfill their role.

Discover this heritage by walking along the Scarpe banks or following the Abbey and Elpret tours.  Go to "Discover/Hiking".


The site of the Great Bog is owned by the North Department. Its management is undertaken as part of the policy on Sensitive Natural Areas that allows land protection, preservation of remarkable natural heritage and its opening to the public. It has an extremely rich flora and fauna. It is also part of the ZNIEFF type I and II.
It can be discovered only during the guided tours organized by the General Council.

Contact us to know the visiting dates.