Aizenay’s Forest

A green jewel

Aizenay’s Forest is classified as ZNIEFF (natural zone of ecological, faunal and floral value). With its 450 hectares, it is one of the most important forest of the Vendée.

Its streams, ponds, heather moorlands, oak stands and damp clearings offer numerous shelters and food to different animal species.
There you will come across nesting birds :

  • The European nightjar
  • The northern harrier
  • The hobby falcon
  • Uncommon butterflies such as the Camberwell beauty and the heath fritillary

The main tree species of the forest are :

  • Oak and maritime pine
  • Sitka spruce
  • Holly
  • Beech
  • Birch
  • Chestnut
  • Ferns

Some reforestation of conifers and American oaks is carried out.

The markers numbered in green correspond to the forest plot. The forest management uses them (Departmental Council).

Le sentier du Souvenir (Remembrance path)

On the edge of the forest, a strange installation is to be discovered. It traces the story of the crew of an American bomber crashed in the forest.

On March 27, 1944, the American B-17 bomber « Big Red », was on fire and flew over the city of Aizenay. It crashed at the edge of the forest, at a place called La Boirie.

The crewmen, trapped in the flames, tried to leave the bomber. Some succeeded in jumping by parachute while others threw themselves into the void, without anything. Some were taken prisoner by German soldiers, others were saved by resistance networks.

50 years later, a book about this event was published « Il s’appelait Big Red » (Its name was Big Red). In July 1995, the « Sentier du Souvenir » was inaugurated at the place of the crash.

Le sentier du Souvenir (Remembrance path)