The Garrigues military camp is located in the Gardon mountains, in the Gard department of France. It is situated on the limestone garrigue plateaux surrounding Nîmes and covers an area of 11,725 acres, bordered to the south by the conurbation and the camp buildings. The northern boundary of the camp is formed by the Gardon, the river that rises in the Cévennes mountains and has cut wild gorges stretching for around 12 miles through the plateaux.
The mountain range is covered with typical Mediterranean vegetation, dominated by oak forests and alternating zones of low garrigues with kermes oak, cistus zones and dry grasslands on the rocky outcrops.
The Garrigues camp was opened in 1875 as a military operational preparation facility (shooting ranges, manoeuvre zones, combat village, etc.). It is currently managed by the 2ndForeign Infantry Regiment.
Some 4,890 acres of the northern section of the camp are included in a Natura 2000 site, listed as the "Garrigues camp" Special Protection Area (SPA) in recognition of its remarkable bird population. The site provides attractive nesting and hunting grounds for the Bonelli's Eagle. The Gardon gorges are home to 10% of France's entire population of this rare, threatened raptor, so the camp is an especially important site for this species. It also houses other protected and threatened species, including the Egyptian Vulture, the Short-toed Snake Eagle, the Eurasian Eagle-Owl, the Montagu's Harrier, the European Nightjar, and several species of Passerine that live exclusively in open environments such as the Woodlark, the Dartford Warbler, the Tawny Pipit and the Ortolan Bunting. Populations of Black Kite, European Roller and Common Kingfisher have also been observed in the area.