Environment Field Note

Nature in France


While staying in the south of France, I have spent so much time in the amazing beauty of the nature that surrounds me. This region of France is particularly incredible because it has seas, rivers, mountains and even forests! The people of France are very proud of the nature they live in and do a lot to take care of it. Let’s find out more.

Introduction – How are people connected to the environment?

Menton is one of the beautiful cities located on the French Riviera, or Côte d’Azur. It is a stretch of land in the southeast of France that goes from the city of Cannes to the border of Italy.  It has magnificent beaches and lots of sunshine!

Many people living here depend on tourism to make a living. People come from all over Europe and other places in the world to experience the warm weather, delicious seafood and sandy beaches. Menton relies on the mountains and sea surrounding it to provide its people with everything they need to live.

What makes this environment special or different?

While other parts of France, like Paris, are known more for their historical castles and palaces or cafes and restaurants, the French Riviera is connected most to the nature surrounding it. Many tourists visit historical buildings in this region, but the “life” of the French Riviera is spent in nature.

In many European cities, there is not much greenery, bodies of water or mountains. In the French Riviera, you see nature everywhere! The great beaches and the sea attract visitors from all around the world. Also, the mountains behind the towns block the cold air from reaching these great places. . Parks, gardens and fountains are also found all over the town. When it starts getting warmer in March, everything starts blooming, and people come to spend a weekend or two walking on the sea front and laying on the beach. Do you have any beaches in New York? How about mountains? Are there many parks or gardens in the city, too?

What parts of this environment help people to live here?

The mountains protect Menton from cold weather!

Menton is a very old city, and has survived mainly because of its environment. With the sea on the southern part and the mountains in the north, the city of Menton is very protected. The sea also provides fish to eat and water to drink. It also helps fruits and vegetables in this area grow to feed not only the people, but their cattle and other farm animals. The oranges, tangerines and lemons are especially famous in this area. What are the main parts of nature that help people in your city grow food?

Menton’s warm weather and coastal climate has attracted people for a long time, and over time people have settled down here. Some have opened restaurants, hotels, private beaches and cafes that might not have been as successful in other parts of France. Many very rich people from Russia and the United Kingdom came here over a hundred years ago and built huge mansions and gardens.  Now, those beautiful homes are  preserved for visitors to see how people once lived Although many settle in Menton, others choose to live in bigger cities where the cost of living is not as expensive.

What challenges do people face living in this environment?

Many places around the world are affected by a changing environment. Part of the reason for this is because people are not taking enough care of our planet. In this region of France, many companies are taking over precious natural beaches and coastline and dumping waste into the rivers and seas. This waste damages the wildlife of the Mediterranean Sea and the lives of those who depend on it, like fishermen. Others also build hotels, restaurants and homes over gardens and forests and disturb the natural habitat of animals in this region.

With cold weather, many people avoid beaches!

With climate change, the tourist season in Menton has also shortened. The winter has become longer than usual. This year, the winter lasted from November until April! Usually, it only lasts from November to February, and is not too cold. It has also been raining a lot. Because of this climate change, many tourists do not come to the region and businesses lose a lot of money. Because the weather always changes from sunny to rainy and from hot to cold very quickly, many people also fall sick!

How do you prepare yourself for the chilly weather and the hot summer where you live? What is your favorite season?

How have people been adapting to this environment?

Riverains (river-ahs), which is the name for people living in the French Riviera, know very well that there are many risks to their beautiful natural environment.  They know that they need to do a lot to protect it. They highly depend on the warm weather for their livelihood, so they want to avoid long winters.

To protect their environment, riverains have set up recycling programs all over their towns and cities. There are big containers to separate paper, glass, plastic and metal. There are also groups that take leftover food from restaurants and deliver it to people that cannot afford to eat. This way, the food doesn’t go to waste and, at the same time, hunger becomes less of a problem.

Riverains are also encouraging clean energy. Many cars and buses run on natural gas or electric power. By making public transport cheaper, riverains are also encouraged to ride buses and trains instead of driving. Wind power is also important to this region, and you can see many windmills around the Riviera.

By taking care of their environment, riverains hope to keep their region clean and their lives healthier. How do people in your city take care of their environment? What do you do for the environment? Do you recycle, take short showers or take the bus to school? What ideas do you have to help your city and other places in the world become cleaner and healthier?


The mountains also provide food for animals

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