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Discover Giscours park: a place for a stroll in a natural setting near to Bordeaux
Giscours
 - 
on 04/05/2021
Discover Giscours park: a place for a stroll in a natural setting near to Bordeaux

Giscours park and forest are extraordinary locations where animals and plants live side by side in keeping with the seasons. A haven of peace just a few kilometres from Bordeaux where you can take a stroll and observe nature.

History of Giscours park

Designed in 1850 by Eugène Bühler, the talented landscape architect behind the magnificent Parc Bordelais, Giscours park is an exceptional green space where flora and fauna live peacefully side by side.

But the park has not always been as it is today!

After the storm in 1999, Giscours park and forest effectively fell into a slumber. The widespread damage seriously undermined the park and its inhabitants, and the paths scattered with fallen tree trunks were no longer passable, meaning that the park and forest were left to their own devices. This period allowed certain species such as the American oak to spread and take over the area.

2017 was a year of renewal, with the Giscours teams making restoring the park a priority. Regularising species, clearing and creating paths, pruning and so on were some of the operations undertaken to breathe new life into Giscours park and forest.

Panoramic view of the Giscours Park Panoramic view of the Giscours Park
Panoramic view of the Giscours Park

Giscours park: when flora and fauna live alongside works of art

Today, Giscours park and forest are a truly green oasis, just a few kilometres from Bordeaux. Since 2019, the Giscours teams have been creating a proper path to follow past plants and bodies of water, with numerous new things to discover.

As you stroll through Giscours park, you will discover a wide range of species and remarkable, rare trees. In fact, the park and forest are home to tree species from all over the world! Some of the most impressive are the giant sequoias, originally from California and reaching up to 55m high, which quietly dominate the forest. You can see the centuries-old oaks, the verdant lime trees, the magnificent sassafras, and also the shrubs and flowering trees such as magnolias or rhododendrons.

Designed as a work of art, the paths of Giscours park and its forest reveal various artworks that come to life among the branches or in expanses of water. From the very beginning of the circular route, in the lake opposite the Château, a female silhouette also seems to be taking advantage of the cool water… This is The Bather, a bronze sculpture depicting Hendrickje Stoffels, the partner of the famous painter Rembrandt. This statue was created by talented Dutch artist Carla Rutgers Hendriksen.

A little further away, the astonishing sculpture in patinated bronze ‘Salto’ emerges. Created by Nic Jonk, this silhouette sits perfectly beside Lesclause river, which runs through Giscours park and forest.

And doubtless, the most observant among you will not fail to spot ‘Spectacles’, an installation paying tribute to Eric Albada Jelgersma – who owned Château Giscours until his death in 2018 – and the iconic round glasses that he wore for all of his life, quietly watching the Château’s reflection in the water. Another pair of spectacles has also been installed among the Giscours vines, overseeing their development all year round.

As you stroll along paths scattered with wood chips, between trees and works of art, you are overcome with a feeling of completeness and calm… But if you open your eyes and ears, you will become aware of all the biodiversity surrounding you. In fact, Giscours park and forest are home to various inhabitants: animals, birds and insects all form part of this rich ecosystem.

Ornithology fans can observe kingfishers, grey herons, European green woodpeckers, little egrets, Eurasian hoopoes, and various other species of bird living in their natural habitat. From March to October you might be lucky enough to catch sight of our European pond turtles, small water turtles classified as ‘near threatened’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They particularly love taking in the sun on the banks of Giscours park’s large pond.

The Bather, bronze statue in the heart of Giscours park The Bather, bronze statue in the heart of Giscours park
The Bather, bronze statue in the heart of Giscours park

Giscours park as an observatory: nature that changes with the seasons

All of the park’s biodiversity changes with the seasons, each of which offers a different atmosphere. In the spring, you will be welcomed by the arrival of the first flowers of the year, such as primroses and anemones. The rhododendrons coming into bloom is an event not to miss, as it is particularly rare in the region.

The end of the spring marks the arrival of the first porcini mushrooms in our forest and the start of the picnic season in the lush park, which then continues throughout the summer.

Autumn sees Giscours park and forest transformed into an incredible array of warm colours. Many of our trees turn orange, red and purple, providing an exceptional setting for your Sunday walks.

When winter arrives, some leafless trees reveal the forest’s horizons and offer easier views of the deer, boar and certain birds. The morning frost and the snow transform Giscours into a true white wonderland.

“Having worked at Giscours for around twenty years, I am fortunate enough to be able to stroll through the park every day – and there is something new to see each week. This living nature impresses me day after day, and I never tire of watching it change with the seasons.”

Pascal Froidefond
Purchasing Director and nature fan
Wild cyclamen flower forest Giscours
Wild cyclamen flower forest Giscours

The future of Giscours park: short channels and ensuring species’ well-being

Preserving our terroir and its biodiversity and prioritising short supply channels are some of the key values behind life at Giscours. The well-being of the animal and plant species on our land is therefore one of the main factors guiding our activities in the park and Giscours forest. We have been working to ensure this on a daily basis for many years.

We are striving to reduce the quantity of the very prevalent American oak so as to increase light in the park and thus attract new species of plants, insects, butterflies and birds and to enable those already here to develop better.

In keeping with this desire to promote short channels and to transform the resources already on the estate, acacias will be planted and their wood will be used to make posts for our vines.

“We will also be creating a belt of trees around the park by planting protective species such as cork oaks, spruces and acacias, which will offer protection from the wind and allow the existing species to develop better. By improving the ecosystem, we hope to prompt the migration of species to settle naturally in our park, as many have done already.”

Pascal Froidefond
Purchasing Director and nature fan
The pines of the Giscours forest
The pines of the Giscours forest
The ducks of Giscours Park The ducks of Giscours Park
The ducks of Giscours Park

For a pleasant afternoon, a stroll for two or with your family, a picnic, or after a wine tour, Giscours park and its forest will welcome you for a moment of immersing yourself in nature. Take advantage of a location offering stunning, unspoiled biodiversity just a few kilometres from Bordeaux.

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Discover Giscours

Tour
of Giscours

Here is our guide to all the activities available on the estate.
Select one of the places that make up the Giscours ecosystem.

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