• This summer the Calanques National Park tested for the first time a limitation of access to one of its creeks.

  • An online reservation system had been set up.

  • The measure has rather convinced and is extended for five summers, the time to assess a possible environmental recovery of this site degraded by overcrowding.

The Calanques National Park decided on Tuesday to extend for five years the reservation quota tested this summer to limit access to one of its emblematic coves at the gates of Marseille, particularly threatened by overcrowding.

The decision to extend the trial of access by prior reservation to the small creek of Sugiton was adopted unanimously at a meeting of the board of directors, said the management of the park.

As in the summer of 2022, reservations will be made online.

The measure, a first in France for a national park, made it possible to limit access to Sugiton, one of the most beautiful coves in the Parc des Calanques, to 400 people per day, during a test weekend in June, then all the days from July 10 to August 21.

Very far from the 2,500 visitors who congregated there on certain summer days, overcrowding which had led to a strong deterioration of this fragile environment.

"No problem of acceptability of the measure"

“It is a little early to assess precisely, but there has been much less damage to the environment and there have been no problems with the acceptability of the measure”, explained the chairman of the board of directors of the park, Didier Réault.

There were thus only two fines drawn up and the feedback from visitors on their "experience" in a less crowded site was very positive, he underlined.

The experiment "worked very well throughout the chain", from the prior information of the public to the reservation platform to the implementation and checks on the ground, specified for her part Gaëlle Berthaud, director of the Park.

The extension for five years was proposed because the scientific council of the park considered that "it is the right duration to be able to observe a possible environmental recovery", she specified.

The duration of the measure will also be extended to two weekends in June, the entire months of July and August and two weekends in September.

Attendance has indeed picked up strongly as soon as the experiment ended this summer.

“There are no plans to extend this system (of quotas) to other sites in the national park,” assured the director, Sugiton being in a particular situation with “the fear of irreparable environmental damage”.

"Each site must be managed with specific solutions", noted Didier Réault.

It is thus possible to restrict or arrange access, in particular by boat or mountain bike, to car traffic, or to mooring for kayaks or other boats.


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