The first part of Normandyâ€™s newest cycle and walking trail between Caen and Clecy in Calvados is now open to the public.
The 13 kilometre stretch from Caen to Grimsbosq has taken a year to complete and marks the opening of the route which takes people from the city into the heart of the Norman Bocage.
It follows the old railway line to Flers which closed in 1979. Work on the next stage of the trail to Thury-Harcourt will start this summer.
Work includes creating rest areas, renovating bridges and making the track suitable for cyclists, walkers and roller bladers. The actual rail track is being kept as there are plans to reopen part of the old railway line for a tourist train in the future.
There is an overall budget of â‚¬9.3 millions for the full 37 kilometre length of the route and the first stage has cost â‚¬3.5 million.
Meanwhile, a multi million euro regeneration of the Selune river and estuary in south Normandy has been approved. The Manche council, the Syndicat Mixte du Pays de la Baie du Mont Saint-Michel and the Syndicat Mixte du Bassin de la SÃ©lune have agreed a partnership to undertake the work.
The aim is to restore the landscape and improve water quality once the current work around Mont Saint Michel is complete. Local councillors and mayors have been asked for their views on the most appropriate development to restore the area.
Issues that will be taken into account include leisure activities, accessibility, flood management and the development of fishing which is a major attraction in the area as well as sustainable farming around the estuary and the river.
The project is likely to cost in the region of â‚¬6 to â‚¬9 million and aims to create sustainable tourism for the area and is likely to include environmentally friendly accommodation for visitors. New facilities will include a mountain bike trail and a leisure park.
Local fishing associations have asked in particular that salmon and trout fishing should not be distrupted as people rely on it for a living.