There are 58 regional natural parks in France (56 in metropolitan France and two in the overseas territories). Territorial projects are developed around these Parks where heritage preservation is at the service of local development.

The ‘Fédération des Parcs naturels régionaux de France’ (Federation of the Regional Natural Parks of France) acts as the voice and activity leader of the Regional Natural Park network.
In addition to representing the collective interests of the Parks with national and international bodies, it plays a role in defining and implementing policies in favour of French rural areas. It is responsible for the dissemination and public awareness of the Regional Natural Parks’ ethics and actions in France and abroad. Its mission is to identify and share the network’s best practices. The Parks Federation is called upon to advise the Minister in charge of the Environment for the classification, and renewal of same, of a given park every 15 years.

Alongside the Ballons des Vosges Regional Natural Park, the ‘Grand Est’ region includes the Regional Natural Parks of ‘Lorraine’, ‘Vosges du Nord’, ‘Ardennes’, ‘Forêt d’Orient’, and ‘Montagne de Reims’, as well as the Regional Natural Parks of ‘Haut-Jura’ and ‘Morvan’ in the ‘Bourgogne Franche-Comté’ region.

> Map of the 58 Regional Natural Parks

A few landmarks:

  • The most recent Parks: Baie de Somme Picardie Maritime, Mont-Ventoux (July 2020)
  • The most ancient Park: Scarpe-Escaut (1968)
  • The biggest Parks: French Guiana (659,500 ha) and the ‘Volcans d’Auvergne’ in mainland France, (388,957 ha)
  • The smallest Park: Scarpe-Escaut (48 500 ha)
  • The most populated Park: the ‘Ballons des Vosges’ (nearly 252,000 inhabitants)
  • The least inhabited Park: Queyras (3,000 inhabitants)
  • The highestQueyras (average village altitude of 1,650 m)
  • The most wooded Park: the Haut-Jura with a 70-percent wooded surface area

The largest reserve in France is located in the Vercors Park